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What Makes an Airbnb Truly Pet-Friendly? A Guide for Hosts

young woman at home with her dog

As an Airbnb host, you might notice a growing trend of guests traveling with their pets. Consequently, ensuring that your short-term let accommodates pets well is a smart move. Given the rising demand for pet-friendly Airbnbs, offering a pet-friendly listing and property can attract more bookings and business. In this post, Keey offers several tips and tricks to help you host four-legged guests and ensure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

young woman at home with her pet

Update Your Listing

Take the first step to ensure your Airbnb is pet-friendly by updating your listing. Clearly state your acceptance of pets in both the title and description of your rental. This approach will attract pet owners seeking suitable accommodations.

In your listing, clearly outline any rules or restrictions you have for pets. You might require pets to be well-behaved, house-trained, vaccinated, and current with flea and worming treatments. Additionally, you could ask guests to clean up after their pets or keep them off the furniture. Clear expectations upfront can prevent misunderstandings or conflicts with guests.

Create a Pet-Friendly Space

To make your Airbnb appealing to pets, create a pet-friendly environment. This could mean adapting your rental for pets, like investing in pet-friendly furniture, such as pet beds or sofas with easily cleaned slipcovers.

Consider offering pet-specific amenities, like bowls for food and water. These items, while relatively inexpensive, can significantly enhance your guests’ comfort and convenience.

Keep Your Rental Clean

pet-friendly Airbnb

As an Airbnb host, you must ensure your rental stays clean, which might require extra effort if you allow pets. After each booking, thoroughly clean your rental to remove any pet hair and debris.

If you plan to clean yourself, invest in a quality vacuum cleaner and pet-safe cleaning supplies. Alternatively, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to guarantee thorough cleaning and disinfection between guests. If using a professional service, ensure they use pet-friendly cleaning products.

Provide Information on Local Pet-Friendly Attractions

Attractions Helping guests with pets find pet-friendly activities and attractions can greatly enhance their experience. As an Airbnb host, offer information about local pet-friendly spots like parks, beaches, and restaurants.

Create a list of these places and include it in your Airbnb listing or a guest welcome pack. This can be an excellent resource for guests to plan their stay and enjoy your area.

Communicate With Your Guests

Effective communication is crucial when hosting Airbnb guests with pets. Be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have about traveling with pets.

Proactively communicate with your guests before and during their stay. You might remind them of pet-related rules or provide information about the nearest veterinarian in case of emergencies.

Continue Charging a Pet Fee

As more guests seek to book Airbnbs with dogs and other pets, often willing to pay extra, many Airbnb hosts opt to charge a pet fee. This fee helps cover any additional cleaning or damage pets may cause. If you choose to charge a pet fee, clearly state it in your listing and explain what the fee entails to avoid disputes or confusion.

When setting the pet fee amount, consider the extra cleaning and preparation effort for pets. Researching pet fee charges by other Airbnb hosts in your area can help ensure competitive pricing.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

cat in vet clinic

As a host for Airbnb guests with pets, prepare for emergencies. Have a plan for situations where a pet gets injured or ill during their stay. Include information about local emergency pet clinics and vets in your guest welcome pack. Adding a pet first aid kit to your rental with essentials like antiseptic, bandages, and tweezers is also advisable.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Ensure your insurance covers pet-related incidents before listing your Airbnb as pet-friendly. Review your policy to confirm coverage for pet-caused damage. Consider additional coverage for pet-related damages if necessary.

Get Guest Feedback

After hosting guests with pets, seek their feedback to improve your pet-friendly accommodations and amenities. Follow up with an email or encourage them to leave a review on your Airbnb listing. This feedback is invaluable for enhancing your rental to attract more pet-owning guests.

If you’re starting a pet-friendly Airbnb or aiming to attract more guests with pets, Keey can assist. With experience in aiding Airbnb hosts worldwide, including those welcoming pets, Keey offers services from marketing to pet owners to cleaning and managing pet hair. Contact Keey for more information on how we can help you succeed.

Landlord Best Practices: Is it Worth Allowing Pets?

Landlords are faced with many big decisions when renting out their properties, including whether to allow pets. For many years, landlords have been reluctant to allow pets in their properties. But it may be time to consider all tenants for your rental properties.  

Most pet owners see their pet as family, and won’t even consider a place that would require them to give up their beloved pet. In the UK, more than half of households own at least one pet in 2020/21. Therefore, it may be worth your time to consider welcoming furry, four legged creatures into your properties.  

Opening the door to pet owners does offer many potential benefits but it can be a serious gamble. You may be concerned about pet damage to your property. As with any decision, there are pros and cons to your choices. 

However, you don’t have to make that choice alone. We’ve outlined a pros and cons list to allowing pets in your properties, as well as guidance on how to reduce the risk of damage when renting to tenants with pets.  

Reasons to Allow Pets in Your Rental Property 

1. Marketing to a Larger Pool of Tenants 

A large number of renters either have pets or would like to be able to have them. By excluding pet owners from renting out your property you will dramatically decrease the number of potential tenants. By advertising ‘pets allowed’ you could receive more enquires, more viewings and let your property out faster.  

2. Pet Owners Will Want to Stay For Longer 

Tenants with pets are all too aware that it’s hard to find a landlord so accommodating to their situation. This means your tenants will be more likely to rent with you again. This helps you avoid void periods and reduce time and money spent on finding tenants 

3. Higher Rent 

Market value determines how high you can set your rent. By allowing pets in your property, you may be able to charge a higher rent if there are few other properties in your neighbourhood that are pet-friendly.  

4. Higher Deposit 

A pet brings a greater risk of damage to your property. The greater the risk, the higher you can charge for your deposit. We recommend adding a fair amount to cover any additional costs that could be attributed to having a pet in your property.  

5. Responsible Pet Owners, Responsible Tenants 

Responsible pet owners often make the most responsible tenants. Taking care of pets requires a lot of time and attention. This behaviour is often shown when it comes to how they treat their homes too. The lack of rented accommodation for pet owners also means that tenants will be less likely to do anything to jeopardise their tenancy.  

6. Reduced Void Periods 

 If you exclude pet owners you will be more likely to have a void period; a period of time with an empty property. The rent you lose during this period can quickly add up and come to a serious cost. This problem is exacerbated if you’re relying on rental income to pay a buy-to-let mortgage.  

Reasons Not to Allow Pets in Your Rental Property 

1. Damage 

Pets are renowned for causing damage to properties.  There are certain behaviours that landlords associate with pets and property damage. These include: urinating on carpets, scratched surfaces, torn up carpet and destroying gardens. Even well-trained pets can have the odd accident. This should be considered when debating whether or not to allow pets in your property.

2. Noise 

Excessive barking can be a nuisance to neighbours. You may receive complaints. If the neighbours near to the property are not keen on animals, community relations could be negatively impacted.  

3. Odor  

Pets are notorious for smelling. These smells can be difficult to get rid of. This may mean that extra cleaning is required once tenants with pets leave.  

4. Animal Hair 

Animal hair can be difficult to remove, especially from upholstery and carpets. Animal hair can also carry fleas and mites which can infest a property. These should be considered in the tenancy agreement and deposit if you are renting out to pet owners.  

5. Pet Allergies 

Once a pet has been kept in the property, it may be difficult to rent the property to anyone with allergies in the future. 

How to Reduce Risk When Renting to Tenants with Pets 

Meet the Pet Before Deciding 

Don’t be afraid to ask. It would be perfectly normal to ask the tenant to meet their pet before deciding to let to them. The best place would be at their current home to see how the pet behaves in their home environment. This is a good opportunity to check for signs of pet-damage to furniture, floors etc. 

Include a Pet Clause 

You should make it clear in your tenancy agreement that any pets that are there are with your written permission, and that any new pets would require new permission. This clause should also specify that your permission will not be unreasonably withheld as this could be deemed as unfair by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.  

Outline that the tenants are ultimately responsible for returning the property to you in the same condition that was given to them in.  

Make a Thorough Inventory 

A comprehensive inventory is essential for minimising deposit disputes – even when a pet is not involved. It provides clear evidence of the condition of the property, and its contents.  

We recommend recording small details regarding paintwork, flooring, skirting boards etc, as these are common problem areas for pets.  

You can also include dated photographs to support written notes, in order to help minimise deposit disputes.  

Get a Reference From a Previous Landlord 

It’s a good idea to ask prospective tenants for a reference for their pet from a previous landlord. This will give you an idea of how well behaved they are and if the tenant is a responsible pet owner.  

Read Now: Important Renting Rules for Landlords and Tenants to Follow 

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