I’m always surprised at the number of people who travel with their pets – always “well trained and very well behaved,” of course. These are pets who never sleep on the furniture, do not relieve themselves on the carpet, and have only the softest bark so as not to disturb the neighbors.
The issue of whether to accept pets might be moot: you may, like us, love dogs but be very allergic to cats. You may live in a building where pets are not allowed. You may not like animals. But if there are no real obstacles to having a dog or cat live in your home, you’ll have to decide whether the risk of accepting pets in your short-term rental is worth the benefit of making your home more attractive to a larger number of potential exchange partners or tenants. Here some ways to increase your confidence and avoid pet-related problems.
Charge a little more and ask for a larger damage deposit
Many short-term rentals won’t accept pets, period. Guests are usually more than willing to pay a little more for a rental that will let them bring their beloved pet. They also understand hosts’ concerns about damage, so they usually don’t mind putting up a larger deposit.
Do not accept very young or very old animals
Just because you accept pets doesn’t mean you have to accept every pet. Ask about the pet’ ages before saying “Yes.” Very young animals such as puppies are far more likely to chew up your furniture, and older animals may leave an unpleasant odor behind them.
Ask for “pet references”
People who travel with pets might have rented from other hosts. Ask for the names and contact numbers who can stipulate to the pet’s good behavior.
Warn future guests that pets has lived in the home
We’re not alone in being allergic to cats, and many people are allergic to dogs and other animals, such as birds, as well. Be sure that your listing states clearly that pets have lived in the home.
Set clear rules
Draw up a list of rules for pets’ behaviors: e.g., no pets on furniture, no pets in certain rooms, pets not left alone in home if they are prone to create a disturbance. Include language in the rental agreement about the guests assuming full responsibility for the pet’s behavior and reimbursing you for any damage the pet might cause.
Alert your neighbors
Let close neighbors know that a pet will be staying in your home. Give them the guests’ contact information and let them know how to reach you in case pets cause a disturbance.
Have you ever accepted pets for an exchange or rental? How well did it work? What tips would you give other hosts?