Are Pets Allowed in Your Rental Property?
by Sigrid de Kaste
Pets allowed – please apply!
How often do see the clause: pets allowed, when wanting to rent a property? Most often not as their potential to make a mess and cause damage is considered high
But here is the thing, pet ownership in Australia is one of the highest in the world
The conclusion is, as property investor you may be missing out on tenants with pets if your policy is: no pets allowed
Here some statistics on this:
- 60% of Australians have pets
- 1/3 rd of households rent
At a time when national vacancy rates are climbing, having a no pets allowed policy could be a costly choice
If you are considering pets to be allowed, here are 3 tips to help you embrace a pets allowed policy
1. It’s not the pet, it’s the pet owner
Opening the door to pets immediately makes your property more attractive to a wider range of tenants. The key is to assess how well managed the pets of the tenant are. A good tip is to meet with the tenant and their pet. Reference checks are also a crucial part and even getting some feedback from previous neighbours should give you extra insight into their pet management. There are even some renters who develop resumes for their pets with photos, references and medical history.
2. Higher rent, longer lease
Because it can be hard for tenants to find a pets allowed property, they are often prepared to pay a premium to secure a place. While this does not mean charging more, it gives the landlord the opportunity to promote their property to pet owners and structure the rent accordingly
The scarcity of pet allowed properties also makes it likely for the pet owner to stay long, ask for a longer lease. This in turn means lower turn-over and less costs for the landlord. US statistics show renters with pets say an average of 46 months compared to just 18 months for those without
3. Put it in writing
Make sure your rental agreement included a pet policy that stipulates the pet owner is responsible for:
- Any property damage caused by the pet
- Injuries caused to the pet on the property
- The pet’s behaviour
- Regularly cleaning up after the pet
A good idea would be to engage a property management team as they are familiar with what can and cannot go into a rental agreement
So give it a try, you may attract a new ‘breed’ of tenants when you say: pets allowed