Did you know that over 50% of Australian households own a pet? 

 A lot of Landlords and managing agencies have a “No Pets” policy for their property renters. To my surprise on asking to few landlords as to why they prefer not to rent their property to a tenant with a pet? Most of them had one common answer-pets might cause damage or it’s easier to maintain a property without pet, noise complaints, insurance issue.

On the hind-side there can be many benefits to having a tenant who is a pet owner.

  • First and the most crucial aspect being that- Tenants with pets are willing to pay more rent for a pet-friendly rental. The Landlord can get 7-12% more rent.
  • Pet-bond
  • Pet-friendly rental properties rent faster, chances of receiving more number of tenant applications. In many cases it has been observed that a pet friendly property was leased out in 8-10days time of being in the market as compared to having a strict policy on no pet, could fetch a suitable tenant in upto 20days or so.
  • Longer Lease-Tenants with pets are likely to stay longer than tenants with no pets as they know that it will be harder for them to find another pet-friendly rental property. Thus they are more willing to sign up for a longer lease period or renew their lease again. A survey says that, tenants with pet stay upto 23 months as compared a tenant without a pet, who may stay upto 6-12 months only.
  • Pet Application and Pet Agreement forms- have been developed by the Australian Companion Animal Council to assist with the process of renting a property to a pet owner. Pet Agreement Forms enable the landlord or managing agent to clearly detail their expectation as to how a pet will be kept and managed once they are approved.

Such an agreement sets both a benchmark in pet keeping practices and a confirmed communication channel.

 Risks a landlord takes in spite of having a no pet policy- Unfortunately, it has been noted many a times that in spite of landlord’s restrictions, many tenants chose to have a pet regardless of the lease restrictions. When tenants do so, landlords receive none of the financial benefits of pet friendly units.

Almost 70% of renters having pets find it hard to get a pet-friendly accommodation and therefore they land up keeping their pets illegally. On the other hand, converting your rental property to a pet-friendly one, can involve only a small and calculated risk. A good pet policy provides the foundation for charging more rent from all tenants, collecting a pet rent or an additional fee on top of the monthly rent, and asking for a pet deposit to cover any cleaning or damages.

As a generic practice Landlords and property manager perform Credit checks, background check and current income check, in addition to that they can demand for pet screening asking for applicants to submit references, vet records, obedience training certificates and proof of renter’s insurance with pet coverage.

 Having penned down the benefits of having a pet-friendly property the end decision will always remain with an owner. However, the potential for an increase in income and overall occupancy and longer lease.