Did you know that over 60% of Australian households own a pet1?
What makes this statistic interesting is that many landlords have a ‘no pets’ policy, but a landlord does have the right to make their own decision as to whether a pet can be included as part of the tenancy.
Legislation has recently been introduced that properties in a building complex need strata approval for a small to medium sized dog or cat to be included in the tenancy, however these landlords may find it difficult to refuse such an application.
Maybe it’s because they think it’s easier to manage a property without pets? Or they believe pets might cause damage?
Being a pet friendly landlord can open up a new group of prospective tenants.
The Australian Veterinary Association suggests there are a number of good reasons to consider allowing pets to be part of a tenancy agreement, saying the benefits can significantly outweigh the negatives. Recent research suggested that a well managed pet friendly rental can deliver great economic outcomes for those willing to introduce a ‘pets considered’ policy.
Here are 7 good reasons to consider renting to a pet owner
1. Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent
Australian research reveals that many dog and cat owners would be prepared to pay more for a pet friendly rental. You can also request that your tenants pay for a professional carpet cleaner before they vacate the property.
2. Pet friendly properties rent faster
With many Australian households owning a dog or cat, it’s clear that there is a massive imbalance between supply and demand for pet friendly rental properties. If you allow pets as part of your leasing arrangement, this will avoid your tenants sneaking their pet in without your knowledge (yes – that does happen) and can avoid conflict later on. Australian research indicates that 11% of landlords or body corporates are unaware that their tenants (mainly cat owners) keep pets.
3. Responsible pet owners can make excellent long term tenants
Tenants with pets know how difficult it can be to find pet friendly housing and want to avoid having to search for a rental property again. Most pet owners have a close and caring bond with their pets and are very house proud. These same people could be renters and could make perfect long term tenants.
4. Reduce your advertising spend
With pet friendly properties leasing more quickly and pet owning tenants staying longer, it stands to reason that you will spend less on advertising to find tenants for your rental property.
5. Reduce animal euthanasia
Animal welfare agencies indicate that as many as 30% of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who are unable to locate adequate accommodation. The ratio of pet friendly rental properties is at odds with the number of people looking for rentals. Sadly, this has resulted in a high number of animal surrenders.
Data from Australian animal welfare organisations suggests that up to 30% of animals surrendered to shelters are the direct result of owners being unable to secure pet friendly accommodation.
6. ‘Considering pets’ will not lock you into a pet particular outcome
Allowing one tenant with a responsibly owned pet doesn’t mean you’ve created a ‘no-holds-barred’ situation.
You might choose to include a ‘pets considered’ clause as opposed to ‘pets permitted’.
By having clear guidelines on the keeping of pets in your property, irresponsible owners can be carefully screened without penalising responsible owners.
Advertising a property as ‘pets considered’ ensures the choice to permit a responsibly owned pet remains firmly in the hands of the landlord while simultaneously increasing the pool of opportunities to identify a good tenant.
7. There are pet application and agreement forms available
By using pet application and agreement forms, landlords and managing agents can more easily identify responsible pet owning tenants and clearly detail expectations as to how pets will be managed in the rental premises.