Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, especially in states like Victoria, NSW, South Australia & Queensland. A study by the RSPCA estimated that 61% of Australian households own pets, with dogs leading the charge with 40% and cats with 27%.
However, man’s best friend isn’t exactly considered a great roommate, with most landlords, property managers and homeowner associations prohibiting pets and considering them liabilities. In some cases, this may be true, but in other cases they could be the key to providing an uptick in your rental properties.
There are many benefits and drawbacks to pets in homes, so to levy your decision, please see below our pros and cons of allowing pets in your tenancy property.
Allowing pets into your property can provide a greater range of prospects in regards to real estate and renting. As stated, available pet friendly properties are few and far between, therefore by opening the door to their furry friends, you are welcoming more chances for new residents to sign that tenancy agreement.
Pet owners may also be willing to pay more to live in a pet-friendly property due to the scarcity of pet friendly properties. By simply charging a slight premium or 'pet bond' to people with pets (namely to cover any potential wear and tear), revenue would receive an uptick while the tenants would gladly cover the cost to keep their furry friends by their side.
In addition, with the aforementioned slim pickings for animal friendly rented premises, the pet’s comfort in the home may cause the tenant to think twice before moving as disrupting a pet’s routine is a headache in its own right. This reluctance to move reduces the chance of a high turnover of tenants, saving the owner time and money in marketing the property and an overall higher return on the property investment.
While there are many positives to allowing renters with pets into your property, there’s a reason why the majority of households are prohibiting pets. Even the most well-behaved pets can cause a great amount of damage and general wear and tear to the rental property.
From small scratches to bite marks to copious amounts of fur and hair, it will take a fair amount of effort to repair, and that’s without mentioning the smells that can be difficult to get out. Pets, namely dogs, can also be quite loud and disrupt general peace between neighbors, and it wouldn’t be out of the question that the pet causes disputes down the line.
Before considering allowing pets in your rental property, check with your local council and insurance company first, as its possible their policy specifically prohibits animals or even charges more for specific breeds of pets. Owners also bear the risk of costly damages from tenancy laws should one of the resident’s animals harm another resident, property or another new pet.
In conclusion, creating a pet-friendly rental is ultimately your decision as a property manager or landlord's consent in general. To alleviate any hesitations or fears consider asking the potential tenant if you can meet the animal/s upfront before making a decision. Alternatively, you can ask them to provide a reference for the pet from a previous landlord (like a pet resume!). The more information you have about the animal occupant the better placed you are to decide if the pet seems like an unnecessary complication, or a great addition to your rental property.