What if I told you that right now, your local government might be working with animal activists to FORCE YOU TO ACCEPT PETS in your rental properties? Probably depends, right? Some of you actually jumped up from your seat and did a dance (admit it) while others are cringing in horror at the thought of the damage to that new carpet you just installed in your rental. Either way, when the government gets involved in your investing, you NEED INFORMATION and you NEED ANSWERS. I’ve got both. I’m Carole Ellis. This is episode 8.
So here’s the deal: Big Brother wants you to rent to pets. That’s right, Orwell fans, your local city government could be working RIGHT NOW against your brand new paint and carpet and, more importantly, the bottom line on your rental homes. Here’s what’s going on:
The latest city (that’s right, I said “latest” and we’ll get back to that in a minute) to make a consolidated effort to force landlords to accept pets in their properties is Los Angeles, and the city council has made big headlines on both sides of the equation (both for and against the idea of forced acceptance as a pet policy) because it has voted unanimously to start working on ways to get more landlords to accept pets. On the face of it, this probably has some landlords cringing, but the truth of the matter is that there are plenty of laws in place already about when you cannot refuse a tenant the right to own a pet – and I’m not talking about service animals, either. For example, did you know that tenants in “federally assisted” housing who are 60 or older actually are legally entitled in MOST STATES to have not one, but two “small pets” should they wish to do so? Small, by the way, means under 40 pounds, so we’re not talking goldfish or hamsters, here. And if you are a landlord in those states and you’re charging pet rent or a pet deposit in excess of state-determined maximums, you could be violating not just state, but federal laws! So yeah, it’s already serious.
LA and other cities like it, however, are hoping to make the situation more serious by soliciting information from landlords and tenants about current pet policies in order to determine how best to adjust them. One council member explained that in his opinion, landlords should not be able to change their pet policies to no-pet policies at the end of a term of a lease, which could create big problems for landlords who have tenants with problem pets or who find that they have made a mistake about their ability to handle pets in their rentals. So yeah, it’s a huge potential problem.
Now don’t worry, I’m not going to spend the entire episode bashing our furry friends. There is absolutely a huge unwanted animal crisis going on (despite American’s tendency to spend billions on billions of dollars each year on their pets) and shelters kill innocent animals daily. The reason that the LA council and local animal advocates are so excited is that there is real hope that if more landlords would accept pets, more shelters could switch to not euthanizing animals, becoming “no kill shelters.” Shelter representatives say that this has already happened in cities like Denver, Colorado, where only about two percent of rental properties do not accept cats and 9 in every 10 accept small dogs. (by comparison, fewer than two-thirds of rentals in LA accept any pets at all).
The real lesson here for real estate investors has nothing to do with whether or not you have a dog, wish you had a cat, or can’t stand anything with more legs than you. The real lesson here is this: Your tenants and future tenants have rights, and those rights are constantly changing. So are yours. As a real estate investor, you MUST make yourself aware not only of your rights in whatever venue in which you wish to invest, but also of the rights of your buyers, sellers, and tenants. Because if you don’t, someone else will, and then they’ll use that information to CHANGE THE RULES on you before you ever see it coming. And speaking of seeing it coming…
The BEST way to see things far, far in advance in the real estate space is to listen up right here AND visit the REI TODAY vault on a regular basis. If you want to know where YOUR state stands on pet-owners and rental owners rights (and let me tell you, you may think you know, but you probably don’t – and remember, we’re talking POTENTIAL FEDERAL LAW BREAKING HERE), you need to get into the REI Today VAULT right now. Get your access by texting REITODAY no spaces, no periods, to 33444, and I’ll provide fast, free access to my “Pet Lovers & Pet Haters Guide to YOUR RIGHTS” as well as a lot more seriously insightful stuff that will make your real estate investing safer, faster, and more profitable. So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now…
When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country! Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.today/vault right now for your free membership.
Thanks for listening in, and be sure that you keep an ear out for tomorrow’s episode. I’ll tell you how one single “rule of operation” could literally save your life, and it’s NOT the phone call you’re thinking of. You can’t miss the HUGE danger male and female real estate professionals face every day (it’s all over the headlines – kidnapping, murder, stabbing, you name it), and this easy, easy addition to your standard “mode of operations” could help you eliminate all sorts of threats long before they ever get close to you. A good friend of mine and his wife have been employing this method for years, and I have to say that not only is it working really, really well for their bottom line (and, you know, keeping them safe and alive), but it makes a huge amount of plain old common sense as a rule for business.
So until tomorrow, REI Nation, always remember this:
Your best investment is your own education.
Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.