For any investor wanting to get started in real estate investing, it is a dilemma. For others, it is a clear-cut issue. If you own investment property, you may feel hesitant to allow renters to have pets inside, especially if you have dreams of keeping that property pristine over time. You may also want to direct your property management company to no allow pets in your properties if you have a management company in place. However, you may be surprised to find that there are many benefits to allowing animals, and it can even boost your real estate cash flow. A great article from Karen Aho on MSN Real Estate points out the benefits of renting to tenants with pets while also pointing out that some of the 'best" horror stories are often far from reality. The story also highlights one of the few if only studies conducted on rental properties and pets and it found that units allowing pets experienced a longer occupancy term, 46 months, compared to those that openly prohibited pets, 18 months.