Scientific research continues to demonstrate the positive impact of the human-animal bond – the mutually beneficial relationship between pets and people – on our collective health and wellness. Pets have been shown to alleviate stress, improve physical activity and heart health, provide social support and even create more connected communities. As the role of pets has become more central in people’s lives, and as research supporting pets for a healthier lifestyle builds, the demand for a more pet-friendly society — where pets are welcomed in schools, hospitals, workplaces and most importantly, where we live — is increasing.
Michelson Found Animals Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) commissioned a much-needed survey of renters and property managers to gain an accurate understanding of the state of pet-friendly rental housing.
The results of the survey show there is a disconnect between the supply and demand for rental housing that is truly pet-friendly. In fact, pet-friendly rental housing continues to be a barrier for pet owners throughout the United States. Despite a high volume of renters seeking homes that accept pets, they report that pet-friendly options are hard to find.
Furthermore, restrictions on pet-friendly rentals bring significant complications to pet-friendly housing. Common restrictions can be significant hurdles for pet owners. For example, while 77% of pet-friendly rentals allow dogs, half of them have weight-limits averaging 45 pounds. A restriction that may be unnecessary given that almost half of rentals are single-family homes.
The impact becomes clear when you start looking at the big numbers involved.
of renters say they would get an additional pet if restrictions were lifted
of non-pet-owners in non-pet-friendly housing say they want a pet.
Extrapolating these percentages to the national number of renters,
8.75 million pets could find good homes
if restrictions were eased over time.
In addition to pets and pet-owning renters, property owners and managers have much to gain from implementing pet-friendly policies. There’s clear financial opportunity for property owners and managers, and our data found several benefits that may help owner/operators gain a competitive edge. According to our survey,
of property managers say pet-friendly vacancies can be filled faster
say pet-friendly vacancies are easier to fill!
This creates an opportunity for owner/operators, residents, and pets to win together…and it’s an opportunity we want to help the rental housing industry explore with relevant research, resources, and tools.
The shared goal of Found Animals and HABRI is to increase awareness of these important findings to improve the availability of pet-friendly housing for the benefit of all – renters, owner/operators, and their beloved pets.
Our survey found that 92% of all renters and 93% of all property managers agree that pets are important members of the family. We firmly believe our positive connection with animals and the importance of the human-animal bond will drive this conversation so that we can work together to find good homes for every pet.
In the year ahead, we plan to reach out to the multi-family housing community to spark a dialogue about how we can use this new data for the benefit of all.
About the Market Research
The market research, conducted by data and analytics consultancy LRW on behalf of Michelson Found Animals Foundation and HABRI, was conducted in the United States to explore the current housing circumstances of renters with and without pets in non-rural settings, and the perceptions of property owners and managers towards pet-friendly housing and pet owners. The research was conducted online among a nationally-representative sample of 1,049 renters (749 pet owners and 300 non-pet owners) and by telephone with 500 property owners and managers.