The choice to make your rental properties pet friendly is one that may have pros for your business, but also one that may pose cons. Offering pet friendly apartments can allow you to charge higher rent and pet fees, increase your tenant pool, increase lease renewals, and make your tenants happier. However, if your units are occupied by irresponsible pet owners, the physical state of your property and the satisfaction of other tenants may be compromised.
According to the Rental Housing Journal, the top three cons of pet friendly apartments are:
- Property Damage
Pet owners may not be as concerned about maintaining your units as you, the property owner or manager, will be. When permitting tenants to have pets, there is the risk of damage to wood flooring and carpets. Additionally, the failure of pet owners to clean up accidents within or outside of their unit can result in an overpowering and unpleasant odor. Perhaps the greatest risk of pet friendly housing is increased liability for the property owner. If there are unauthorized pets living on the premises, there is the potential that they will cause a substantial amount of property damage. Additionally, if an unauthorized or undocumented pet bites or attacks another pet or tenant, the liability costs will not be covered by a pet deposit or liability coverage.
BOS Security’s VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring services can use audio and video intervention to ensure that your tenants with pets are adhering to the policies and lease agreements of your property.
VirtuGuard™ Interactive Remote Monitoring
From the VirtuGuard™ Command Center headquarters in Athens, Georgia, Agents monitor and react to events and behaviors that occur on our client’s properties. By connecting to cameras, microphones, speakers, and other surveillance infrastructure on the property, Virtual Agents can conduct random or scheduled guard tours or react to events triggered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in real time.
For residential properties, VirtuGuard™ can monitor the behavior of tenants and their guests, and even their pets. Agents can ensure that tenants are following policies set forth in their lease regarding their pets. Agents can monitor for:
- Unapproved pets living on the property
- Damage to common areas caused by pets
- Owners adequately cleaning up after their pets, both outdoors and in indoors common areas
- Other concerns specific to your property and needs
But how do VirtuGuard™ Agents respond to events?
If there are audio speakers installed on your property, an Agent can activate a voice-down announcement and deliver a scripted or brand-friendly message. For example, if an Agent is alerted to an event that is detected by AI and observes a tenant walking their dog on common grassy areas but failing to clean up their waste, they might say the following. “To the man in the gray sweatshirt walking his dog: Please clean up after your dog. You are being monitored and recorded. Failure to clean up after your dog could result in a fine or further action.”
If there are no audio capabilities on the property, an Agent can take a recording of the tenant and their pet, whether the pet is unapproved or if the tenant is leaving waste on the property. By taking a tour of the cameras on the property, an Agent can also narrow down the units that the tenant belongs to. VirtuGuard™ will then present the recordings and details of any infractions to property management, with which they can proceed as necessary.
Additionally, if an incident occurs where another tenant or pet is bitten or attacked, Agents can clip video recordings of the incident and create a detailed report of the event. After presenting video footage and the report to management, which they can then use in legal proceedings, evictions, or other courses of action.
Remote Monitoring Solutions for Pet Friendly Residences
At a pet friendly apartment complex in Athens, Georgia, VirtuGuard™ Agents were able to identify a tenant failing to follow the common expectations set for pet owners. At approximately six o’clock in the morning on January 11, a VirtuGuard™ Agent spotted a puddle in the hallway of the sixth floor. Unclear about the cause of the puddle, the Agent reviewed the surveillance footage from the night before. The footage at the timestamp of 11:45pm on January 10 depicted a male standing by his dog on a leash as it relieved itself in the hallway. The Agent observed that the male had a light complexion, a mustache, and short brown hair and was wearing a printed sweatshirt with the hood up, khaki shorts, and black tennis shoes.
The VirtuGuard™ Agent continued to review video footage of that hallway, finding that the same male had allowed the dog to relieve itself in the same hallway at 7:46 the previous evening. Continuing to review the footage, the Agent observed the same male throwing a bag of trash outside of his unit on the evening of January 9. The same bag of trash was observed outside of the unit at the time the report was taking on January 11.
With the video footage and progression of events gathered, VirtuGuard™ was able to present the video footage, images, and a detailed report on the behavior of the tenant. Additionally, the VirtuGuard™ Agent was able to narrow down the unit the tenant and his pet belonged to, making it easier for property managers to handle the event. With the information and evidence provided by VirtuGuard™, the managers could then fine the individual for damages and clean-up costs or pursue further action.
Potential to Respond
Had this apartment community had cameras capable of layering artificial intelligence, like so many cameras today, VirtuGuard Agents could have identified the event and responded in real-time.
VirtuGuard™ interactive remote monitoring services are a tool to help property owners and managers maintain the quality of their buildings and satisfaction of their tenants. Let VirtuGuard™ Agents be the virtual eyes and ears of your property.
In addition to monitoring for pet and tenant behavior, VirtuGuard™ works to prevent, deter, and hold accountability for vandalism and other criminal or suspicious activity. Remote guarding for residential properties can give both you and your tenants better peace of mind.