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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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If you want to learn more about how to manage your properties and feel you can benefit from Keey’s services, take a look at what we can do for you. 

How to Manage Having Pets at your Airbnb

Most people have someone who they consider to be their companion. For some, it’s their best friend. For others, it’s a member of their family, such as a sibling, parent, or cousin. 

To many, that companion just so happens to be their very own pet. Just like with a best friend or a family member, the two are like peas in a pod and are completely inseparable, wanting to go wherever the other party does. This extends to going on holidays together, especially when staying over at an Airbnb. The only trouble is that only three percent of Airbnb accommodations will allow pets to join the owner during their stay. 

Have you decided that your Airbnb is going to be a pet-friendly one, but you don’t know where to start? Well, this guide is for you. Below is a list of four tips that’ll help you get started.

Update your house rules

As soon as you’ve decided that you’re going to allow pets to stay in your Airbnb, you must lay down the groundwork and update your house rules. Rules that you must be clear of with your guests regarding their pets are: 

  • Areas that are off-limits to the pets. 
  • When it needs to be on a leash. This may apply to more than just dogs. 
  • When it is or isn’t acceptable to leave the pet unattended. 
  • How and where to dispose of waste. 
  • They need to control the amount of noise the animal makes. Again, this applies to more than just dogs. 
  • They’ll need to report any property damage immediately. 

In addition, you’ll need to take on board these details that are certainly unwritten rules: 

  • You must mention if there’ll be pets on your property. 
  • In relation to the above, if you own pets yourself, you must disclose it. This is important largely if the pet in question is difficult to move, such as a fish or reptile of some sort. 
  • Assistance animals, whether they’re for people with disabilities or require emotional support, are always allowed unless due to health and safety concerns, such as allergies.

Pet food (and other bits and pieces for them)

Just as you’d provide food and beverages for your guests, you should also provide it for their pets as well. While it’s likely that they’ll provide the food themselves, there’s no harm in stocking up on pet food as not just a backup, but a way of showing hospitality. Dogs, as well as cats to a lesser extent, are the most popular pets to own, so it’s ideal to have dog and cat food spare. Another no-brainer is that you should provide bowls for the food and the water to go in if the visitors have not brought their own or have forgotten them. In terms of your own pets, if they are easy to feed (as with fish), show visitors how to do this as well in case you’re preoccupied. 

Other than food, it is ideal that you provide other resources for your guests’ pets as if they were at home. Keep on hand a scooping tray to pick up dog waste, while also possessing a litter box for cats. Animal beds are also a good idea to have spare, again due to the possibility guests might not have brought any, while toys for the animals to play with can be an added bonus for guests. These can extend to more than just cats and dogs.

Pet-proof your Airbnb

Even if you do decide to allow pets to join their owners during their stay, you’ll need to make sure that your Airbnb is a suitable environment for them to be in. If you don’t want them to go into certain areas, whether that is due to privacy or health concerns, put up a child gate or barrier to prevent them from accessing the off-limits location. It’s also vital that you keep hazardous items out of reach which, as with the gate or barrier, you would also do if children were visiting

You’ll also need to take into consideration how you and the pet owner will need to clean up after their pet. Other than waste, animal hair will be something you’ll find you’ll be needing to clean up a lot, but by having pet-friendly furniture covers, this will make things a lot easier, notably if said pet has claws. If you want to make sure that the floor will be easier to clean from mud, water, or anything they might drag in, you can try installing pet-friendly flooring. This can include vinyl, hardwood, or laminate flooring to name but a few ideas, or you could just simply rely on a carpet or rug. You could additionally supply designated towels to wipe paws at the door when they arrive back to your Airbnb from a trip out.

External help (and other useful things)

Of course, while you may be allowing pets to stay, you might not be an expert on how to handle certain animals. If a visitor wants some time away from their pet while they go out, you should recommend local pet-sitting services along with any kennels for dogs. With your Airbnb’s guidebook, you can mention the nearest park for the owner and their pet to visit, along with pet stores to gather supplies, and – in case of an emergency – vets to treat the animal.

In short

Although they say “never work with children or animals”, you’ll be finding that taking precautions can ensure your Airbnb will be safe for pets to stay in. It’s vital that your house rules are updated if you’ve decided to allow pets onto your property, as you’ll need to be absolutely clear on what can and can’t be done. You should also stock up on pet food and other titbits regardless of whether or not your guests have supplied their own to show your hospitality. By pet-proofing your Airbnb, it won’t just be easier for you to clean up after the pets, but will also be potentially safer for them, while you should additionally specify nearby pet stores, parks, vets, and anything pet-related that can come in handy for the guests that you might not be able to handle yourself. 

These were just four tips on how to manage having pets at your Airbnb. If you’d like to learn more on this topic or another one entirely, don’t hesitate to contact us at Keey today. 

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