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April 28. 2012 11:08PM

Pets OK at more Lakes Region rentals

MOULTONBOROUGH — Ten years ago, few lakefront property owners were willing to allow dogs in their rental properties.

But times have changed.

Local Realtors say as many as 20 percent of the rentals available on Lake Winnipesaukee this summer will allow pets.

Mark Borrin, owner of Preferred Vacation Rentals, said he is looking at a bustling summer for rentals. He has nearly 300 listings.

“We ask all our property owners if they would consider pets,” in the rental, he said. “Today, it's 15 to 20 percent who say ‘yes.' About a decade ago, I would say it was about 10 to 15 percent. It is definitely trending higher than it used to,” Borrin said.

At Squam Lake Rentals, associate manager Jerry Love said he, too, is seeing more owners who allow pets. He said about 10 percent of his rental listings are pet-friendly.

Borrin said his agency charges a $100 premium a week more for the dogs or the occasional cat.

Borrin's rental listings are mostly on Lake Winnipesaukee, but there are also listings for the Squam Lakes, Lake Kanasatka, Wakonda, Sargent Lake and Lake Winnisquam. It is the company's 34th year of handling strictly rentals. It handles about 40 long-term rentals as well as weekly rentals.

Most of the renters who will come to New Hampshire's Lakes Region this summer will probably live within a two- to four-hour drive, Borrin said. But the number of two-week rentals by visitors who live farther away is also on the rise, he said.

Rent fees range from $900 a week to more than $10,000 a week. On Squam, it ranges from $1,000 to $7,000 a week.

Borrin said there are “almost zero problems” of damage done by pets.

“The only issue is, sometimes the next renter has an allergy,” and that is often the factor limiting visiting pets.

One reason for the pet-friendly trend could be that the landlords have their own pets and can empathize with visitors who want to keep their animals with them.

Borrin said many residents who have been unsuccessful in selling their properties are calling him to list the properties for rent — for at least a portion of the summer — to cover taxes and other costs.

Love agreed, saying he put out a plea for more rentals when he found most of July and August were booked for his listings, “and they responded, thankfully.”

As for the pet allergy sufferers, “it's like we have to protect them from themselves,” he said, noting that renters do not bring up their own allergy issues when they rent.

“They don't have pets ... so they don't expect a problem,” he said.


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