Recently, we had a fantastic tenant choose not to renew her lease purely because pets were not permitted in the property and the tenant couldn’t bear being separated from her dog any longer. To some this may sound shocking, however, many tenants and pet owners in general can relate.
Did you know that as a country, we Aussies have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the entire world? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 62% of Australian households include a pet. Despite this, only 5% of rental properties in Australia are advertised as being pet friendly.
How does this affect landlords? One of two things typically happen. Tenants with pets will quite often overlook a property even though it may be perfect for them based on the fact the advertisement states pets are not permitted. Alternatively, many tenants may attempt to secretly house a pet on the premises which benefits no one. Breaching the terms of your lease is never a good idea, even if the reason for doing so has four legs and is super cute!
How can you make renting with pets easier? Let’s start by acknowledging that any property is valuable to its owner and the most common reason landlords dismiss pets is due to their concern over damage to the property. When it comes making your rental application, there are a few little things you can do to improve your likelihood of being fairly considered with your pet in tow.
- Be reasonable – don’t go out and buy a puppy! They may be cute but we all know they are little terrors in those early stages, even with the best training and the most responsible owner.
- Include a picture of your pet with your application, typically a pet is less of a perceived threat when the landlord can see it for themselves.
- Include written references which specifically relate to your pet and their behaviour. Proving responsible pet ownership is highly advantageous.
- Provide as much information as possible about your pet and their habits. For example, if you take your dog to day care or ensure they receive daily exercise it is worth noting. It is also worth noting the age, breed and general behaviours of your pet.
What to consider if you are a landlord? With vacancy rates being an issue for many, it is worth noting in the property advertisement that you are open to considering pets on a case by case basis. This would increase the number of inspections and applications received. Naturally you’ll want to consider the type of pet and their behaviours as well as the tenants references, especially in relation to the affect the pet in question may or may not have had on their previous home. It is also worth keeping in mind that pet owners will pay an additional pet bond should their application be approved and in most cases, pet owners are willing to pay above the advertised price in order to secure a property which allows them to keep their pet with them.
At the end of the day it’s all about finding a happy medium and ensuring the landlords losses are paw-fectly mitigated!