1. It’s a hot topic, should rental properties be pet friendly? The RSPCA is reporting Australia as holding the highest rate of pet ownership in the world, sitting at 63%, so it is becoming an option that more landlords are beginning to consider, particularly as more strata buildings are becoming “pet friendly”.

    Should I?

    Allowing pets in your investment property is not something to take lightly, however, it is not something that should be completely taken off the table. There are some benefits to making your investment property pet friendly.

    • Pet friendly rentals tend to be filled faster than non-pet friendly rentals.
    • You may be able to increase the rental price of your property. Pet owners are more likely to pay more for a rental property if it means they can live happily with their pet.
    • Pet owners are often reluctant to move given the difficulty they can have being accepted as tenants and so are more likely to stay for a longer period.
    • Well-managed, pet-friendly rentals can be a competitive advantage for those willing to introduce a ‘pet considered’ policy
    • Not allowing pets can result in a tenant having a ‘secret pet’. It may be better to approve a pet with the Special Conditions that can be attached to this permission (fumigation, mandatory carpet cleaning etc)
    • Some properties are actually inherently pet friendly – tiled or timber floors eliminate many of the risks.
    • A pet can eliminate loneliness especially for an older person living alone so you can make a big difference to someone in this position.

    Shouldn’t I?

    As well as many positives to allowing a ‘pets-considered’ policy, there are other factors to be taken into consideration.

    • If your property is in a strata building that doesn’t permit pets it is all over before it even begins.
    • Pets can cause disturbance to neighbours especially when left alone
    • Pets can damage property- scratches on doors, urine stains on carpet, digging in gardens, pulled threads in curtains from cats. There are many ways a pet can damage a property.
    • Some pet owners are overly indulgent with their pets and do not do everything they can to prevent avoidable damage.
    • Irresponsible pet owners can be difficult to pick.

    Myth Busting

    • Allowing pets does not necessarily mean damage to your property. People can damage your property too. An elderly Labrador, as an example, is probably one of the world’s better tenants!
    • More than one pet is havoc. This is not necessarily true. Dogs are often better in 2’s as they have companionship and are often less likely to bark or cause boredom inspired damage.

    It’s Up To You

    At the end of the day whether you allow pets into your rental property is up to you. If you are considering allowing pets, these tips can help in choosing a suitable tenant.

    • Take each application with a pet on a case-by-case basis.
    • Protect yourself with a landlord insurance policy that will provide cover for damage caused by a pet.
    • Require a photograph of the pet and if possible meet it before accepting the application. Be specific in the lease about the pet that is approved so that it isn’t superseded by a less acceptable replacement during the tenancy.
    • Before allowing a pet, require a reference from a previous owner or agent who has experienced the pet in a property.
    • Conduct regular property inspections to ensure there is no damage.
    • Have a comprehensive set of special conditions in the lease specifying the conditions under which the pet is permitted to live at the property. Not adhering to these conditions would require the pet be removed.

    About Laing & Simmons Double Bay Property Management

    Laing + Simmons Double Bay Property Management is part of a high-profile franchise group yet remains independently owned by Principals Suzie Reid and Bart Doff.

    The office is acknowledged as the market leader in prestige Eastern suburbs leasing, a reputation which has been forged in over 25 years leasing and managing a large portfolio of the best properties available in the Eastern Suburbs rental market.

    Contact us today to see how we can help manage your investment property, or to find a rental property to suit your needs.

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