Isn't this one of the topics that keeps every investor up at night?
We'll approach this with info from the standpoint of the investor and operator...
From a buyer's perspective:
It bites (no pun intended) to get excited about a park only to find out that there is a service dog parkdemic. This is one of many reasons that onsite due diligence takes a minimum of two days and a night. If your due diligence process includes walking every square foot of the park, auditing all lots, auditing homes, talking to, and interviewing everyone that wanders your way, then you will find out everything you need to know about the dog situation - GUARANTEED!
Here are just a few of the tricks we use to document our animal sightings. Notice, we said "animal" instead of dog since we've encountered everything from ducks to snakes to Llamas.
- When performing park owned home audits, additionally take a picture of any large animals.
- When performing park owned home audits, take a picture of anything odd such as multiple empty cages.
- If there is poo everywhere while walking, make note of it and how many lots it is coming from.
- Document lots that have large, aggressive, loose, or neglected animals.
- When speaking to a tenant, ALWAYS present yourself as ADORING of all earth's creatures. This will result in the tenant become comfortable to provide you with an abundance of information such as how the tenant recently started their puppy mill or that they pet sit 20 dogs at a time for their neighbors.
- Lastly, mitigate your injury liability and economic risk. As an investor, some pet risk for a new purchase may be inevitable, especially if the property checks most other boxes. However, at what point do you draw the line and bail?
Economic risk boils down to predicting 'how many tenants will bail?' when you enforce the rules. Determining this will require that you audit market strength and the amount of pet rules being violated. Economic strength will involve auditing tenant turn over with historic rent rolls, evictions reports, and other turn-over materials requested. Your onsite due diligence will uncover how many pet issues there are. Surprisingly, most pet issues are easily resolved, even with some of those tenants that say "f-you, this dog is my baby, and it will always stay with me.” After completing your market strength and violations audit, you can ponder the following - if 25% of your tenants violating the pet rules are lost, would it kill the deal, or not be an issue because of the property’s market strength to replace those tenants?
One extreme example of a “barkdemic” that comes to mind - one of our clients dropped a deal because most homeowners purchased emotional support Mastiffs. Not exaggerating much here, most of the dogs were foaming at the mouth, unchained, and unkept. That investor then closed on the next two deals but is happiest about the fact that he dropped the 'Mastiff' deal.
To answer the question of this email: A Pit Bull bite hurts more! A Chihuahua just hurts your feelings, and you get to return home after performing onsite due diligence. DDP's official pet friendly statement: While we adore and love all animals, some bites hurt more than others. For this reason, proper liability insurance prohibits certain breeds, regardless of whether a particular breed has a good or bad owner.
From an operator's perspective:
Congrats! You closed on the deal, now what?
Let’s introduce an industry expert here to share a few statistics... Kurt Kelly with Mobile Insurance. Mobile Insurance is the largest provider of insurance products to the manufactured housing industry in the nation.
- Dogs categorized as pit bulls accounted for 60% of all dog bite liability claims in the past five years.
- Chihuahuas bite more people than pit bulls - they just don't bite them bad enough to cause notable bodily injury as a general rule - 81% of all dog bites don't require medical care.
- Insurance companies will not insure a park owner that divulges he allows any of these breeds of dogs in the park: Pitbull, Mastiff, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Chow, Akita, Wolf Hybrid.
- Insurance companies treat duly qualified emotional support animals as medical devices and are allowed even if they are a prohibited dog.
- However, landlords can require these owners to have the dogs on a leash full time, always in their control, and they can demand the dogs be removed if they bite or attempt to bite someone.
- In 2019, the estimated total dog bite liability payouts by insurance companies were approximately $800 million in the US. The average loss payout, including incurred legal fees, is $45k. It's estimated these numbers increased 300% during 2020 (COVID).
- 70% of dog bites are by non-neutered animals.
- 5,800 postal workers were bit by dogs in 2019.
For more information or questions about insurance needs and prevention, contact www.mobileagency.com.
We hope we answered the question of which bite hurts more and that we left you with some invaluable statistics and due diligence tips.Thank you,Your Due Diligence Partners
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