If You Plan To Be A Pet-Friendly Landlord, Here’s How You Go About It

Not many landlords welcome tenants with pets. The ones who do, do so because a pet-friendly policy can be beneficial in a number of ways. To begin, since pet owners are usually desperate for housing, it’s easy for the landlord to find renters quickly. Frequent turnovers become unlikely, too. When pet owners find a place that welcomes their pet, they usually do their best to stay on.

If you would like to make your rental pet friendly, you need to prepare for the additional risks involved. Pet-related injuries and annoyance to other renters are a possibility. To protect your interests, you need to make sure that you put a well-thought-out pet policy in the lease. Here are tips on creating one.

Clearly identify what pets are allowed

It’s important to draw up an all-inclusive list of what pet species you allow. Allowing snakes, tarantulas, monkeys and other dangerous or troublesome creatures is usually not a good idea.

Many landlords ban dog breeds that are known for their violent tendencies. Pit bulls and Rottweilers are usually unwelcome. If you do plan to allow such animals in your rental, you should check with your insurer. Many insurers will drop you if you allow animals with violent tendencies.

When landlords allow pets, they will usually prescribe a weight limit. Dogs over 20 pounds are usually considered risky and a danger to children and other residents. This isn’t a logical requirement, though. Often, it’s the small dogs that cause a nuisance by barking a lot and biting. Larger dogs are often quieter and more suited to apartment dwelling.

An own-pet-only rule is often a part of pet-friendly leases. You’ll need to specify if guests coming with their pets are allowed to bring them inside and how long they are allowed to stay if you do allow them.

Require a pet interview

Before you agree to any pet, you should take a look at it and judge it for friendliness, and ask about whether it’s ever been involved in any property damage or injury to humans. It’s a good idea to reserve veto power over any pet.

You should ask about what arrangements are likely to be made when the tenant leaves on vacation. Sterilization is often a sensible requirement. Pets that are intact are often far more aggressive. Requiring a declawing or debarking, though, isn’t a good idea. While these procedures are legally allowed, they are considered by many animal-rights activists to be cruel.

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Mention all pet-related rules

Pet owners who aren’t sensitive to others can easily allow their pets to make a nuisance of themselves, or be neglectful owners. You should have detailed rules in place clearly mentioned in your policy:

  • A pet shouldn’t ever be left unattended outside and must always be on a leash when brought outside the home.
  • The owner should make sure that he immediately cleans up after his pet.
  • A barking policy is required. You need to define exactly how long the dog is allowed to bark, and when.
  • Pets should not be left alone at home for more than six hours at a time.
  • Pets should always be kept clean

With all these rules in place, you should have a great pet-friendly rental unit that keeps all tenants happy.

Which Vehicle Should You Buy – 4WD Vs AWD

For those who live in colder / snowier climates, a 4WD (four wheel drive) vehicle has always made sense. When snow falls, there’s nothing quite like the power of all four wheels working to get you where you are going safely.

But today, there are a huge amount of vehicles featuring “All Wheel Drive” (AWD), which confuses many people. After all, isn’t four wheel drive really also all wheel drive? (are we missing wheels in our count? If all four have power, isn’t that all of them?)

Let’s quickly illustrate the differences:

4WD is exactly what it sounds like. With a switch, power is distributed to all four wheels evenly. This gives you a massive amount of power when driving through snow, mud or similar. Typically, 4WD vehicles have two 4WD settings – low and high, the difference being torque delivered. Low has more torque, but you drive at lower speeds (up to perhaps 20mph). High can typically be driven up to 40-60 mph, making it ideal for driving on normal roads during a snowstorm (obviously, check your manufacturer’s specs for details on this.)

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The drawbacks to 4WD are the fact that you have to turn it on manually, and you also cannot steer as well. With equal power to all four wheels, it means turning is far more difficult and choppy, especially sharper turns at lower speeds (in normal operation, the inner wheel of a turning vehicle turns slower than the outer wheel).

AWD is a little different. First of all, in almost all cases today, it’s “always on”. But that means the torque is considerably less than true 4WD. So while it’s “4 wheel drive” in the sense that there’s power delivered all the way around, it’s not equal amounts to all wheels at all times – it’s far more sophisticated than that. Today’s AWD vehicles have precision computer controls, enabling the vehicle to deliver (and take away) power to any individual wheel. This makes turning at any speed a non-issue, and relieves the driver of “selecting” anything (although there are some AWD vehicles with different levels of AWD – again, that’s an individual manufacturer thing).

So which is better for you – 4WD or AWD?

Well, it depends. For everyday driving, taking the kids to school, etc, AWD is probably fine. It’s going to give you the traction you want, without sacrificing performance and steering. But it’s not as powerful or as sure-footed in snow as a traditional 4WD. So if you need that kind of power – if you have a job where you  MUST get to work no matter the conditions outside, or, obviously, if you are going off-road at all – then a more traditional 4WD is probably the better vehicle for you.