Allowing tenants to keep pets in your rental property allows you to draw from a much wider pool of potential renters. There are some clear advantages to the wider pool, but also some challenges that come along with pet owners. Namely, how do you deal with pet owners who don’t clean up their pet’s waste?
Property management companies have been dealing with this problem since their existence, and we’ve come up with some great strategies that work for all parties involved.
How property management companies can help with pet waste issues at your rental property
Make it easier for tenants
It stands to reason that if you make it easier for your tenants to clean up after their pets, then they’re more likely to do so. There are a couple of simple ways property management companies can accomplish this.
- Provide pet pickup stations. One of the best ways to encourage tenants to pick up pet waste is to ensure that they never get caught without a bag handy. Provide stations with trash cans and poop bags in strategic locations where tenants are most likely to take their pets for a walk. Add signage to clarify the stations’ intended use and that all pet owners are expected to clean up after their animals.
- Ask tenants to make the pledge. Like a lot of cities, Bellingham has programs in place to help encourage residents to clean up after their pets. For example, the We Scoop Pledge asks locals to pick up pet waste every time. Those who make the pledge are rewarded with a free sticker and a poop scooping tool kit, complete with a bag dispenser and flashlight that attaches to their pet’s leash.
Create a dog park
If enough space is available, some property management companies choose to build a dog park, where tenants can let their canine friends off leash. This helps confine dog poop to a specific area, and also makes it easier for pet owners to always clean up.
Plus, pet owners are more likely to choose a rental that has easy access to a dog play area. Creating a dog park also helps your tenants feel a sense of shared pride in their community space, and an increased commitment to keeping it clean.
A well-informed tenant is more likely to behave in a way that is courteous and respectful. One of the best ways property managers can encourage pet owners to clean up their pets’ waste is by providing more information on how and why they should do so. This goes beyond simply posting the rules (although that’s important too).
- Establish the why. Post signage explaining that leaving dog poop behind isn’t just rude and gross, but also harmful to the environment and potentially hazardous to everyone’s health. In particular, it can spread germs and pathogens to children who play in shared outdoor spaces. Whatcom County provides some great information on why it’s important to clean up after pets, which is available here. It’s great information to post in the outdoor shared spaces of your rental property and share with your tenants through email or letters.
- Lay down the law. Of course, there will always be some tenants who only respond to firm rules. Stipulate the responsibilities of pet owners in your lease agreements, and post the rules in shared spaces where they are easy to see. Establish punishments such as fines and loss of privileges, and make it clear that these rules will be enforced.
Ready to learn more about how property management companies can help keep your rental property clean for all to enjoy? Contact us today for more information!