About 70% of US households report owning pets, with dogs and cats listed among the favorites. It’s in the best interest of apartment managers to take a critical look at these figures and reconsider policies that keep pets off their premises. While pets may cause more wear and tear on individual apartments, the payoff is in not disqualifying more than two-thirds of potential renters before they even apply.
There are ways for apartment managers to both make communities more appealing to pet owners and reduce the wear and tear on apartments. Smart apartment pet amenities can make a community seem more welcoming and help landlords enhance their property value. Of course, the key to choosing these apartment pet amenities is ensuring a robust ROI.
Weighing the Options for Apartment Pet Amenities
Pet amenities are a great choice for enhancing properties as they’re typically cost-effective upgrades that provide a ton of appeal. In-apartment upgrades can also reduce the wear and tear on individual spaces to minimize repairs between tenants. Landlords should consider both exterior and interior pet-focused upgrades for the best results.
Common Area Pet Amenities
Typically, upgrades in community-focused areas for pets aren’t expensive or difficult to implement. Of course, landlords can opt for some higher-cost options to add an additional layer of appeal, but even the more expensive upgrades offer a higher ROI by making the community more appealing to pet owners. Some to consider include:
- Waste bag stations ($300± each): One common problem in pet-friendly neighborhoods is pet waste. However, apartment managers can combat this issue with strategically placed pet waste cans and bag dispensers. Placing these stations at various spots will increase the likelihood of individuals picking up after their pets while reinforcing the pet-friendly atmosphere.
- Dog parks and walking paths ($3,000–$75,000): Dog parks and walking paths give people a safe place to play with their pets and are also a relatively low-cost addition for landlords. Simply fencing in an area and adding some water bowls, toys, and other amenities can immediately elevate the pet-friendliness of a community.
Pet spas ($50,000+): Pet spas are more costly amenities, but tenants may be willing to pay higher rent for access as it cuts the often-expensive cost of grooming. Building a room with sinks, grooming tables, and plenty of outlets for plugging in clippers is a way to create a higher-end pet experience for tenants.
Smart apartment pet amenities can make a community seem more welcoming and help landlords enhance their property value.
Pet-Proofing Individual Apartments
Adding individual amenities to apartments is a bit more expensive, but it can also cut the cost of repairs when a tenant moves out. In the long run, the reduced damage will pay for the upgrade. Some of these amenities for individual apartments are:
- Dog/Cat doors ($25–$100+ per door plus installation): Pets may scratch at doors to be let in and out—unless there is already a handy spot for them to slip through. These doors don’t need to be on every entryway, just the major ones. This will save pet owners the hassle of letting their pets in and out of rooms while also cutting down on the wear and tear on doors.
- Detachable shower heads ($30–$200 per head plus installation): Pet owners may want to groom their pets in their apartments but may not have the tools they need. Detachable showerheads provide a sprayer for washing pets in a tub or stall shower and make it easier to keep the space clean. They’re also simple to install and really only need to go in one bathroom per apartment.
- Pet-friendly flooring ($1500–$4000 per apartment): Changing out every floor in every room to accommodate pets may be costly upfront, but it’s worth it in the end. Pets are going to have accidents and they’re going to shed. That’s a fact of life. With carpets, that means replacing flooring every five years or so. However, using laminate flooring cuts this expense as it’s simple to clean and maintain.
Considerations in Maintaining California Communities with Pets
One thing that landlords in California need to consider regarding pet-friendly communities is the cost of landscaping. Landscaping can cost as much as $12 per square foot even before considering choices that work well to support pets. It may take creative solutions to develop an outdoor space that is easy and cost-effective to maintain, so hiring an experienced contractor who is ready to bring those creative solutions is crucial.
It’s important to work with a contractor who can help you anticipate proactive measures to support maintenance, as well as the amenities that are most important to renters.
Of course, some of the solutions we’ve already discussed will go a long way toward preserving your landscaping and outdoor community spaces. Providing waste bag stations will encourage pet owners to help keep the shared space clean. Having a designated area for dogs to walk and play may help prevent them from digging up plants and flowers. When adding any apartment pet amenities in California, it’s important to work with a contractor who can help you anticipate these proactive measures to support maintenance, as well as the amenities that are most important to renters. They can help you cater to the wide population of pet-owning tenants while strategizing for the highest returns on your investments.