One of the most frequently-asked questions we receive when listing a new rental property is "Are pets allowed?". Before we list a property for rent, we will have already asked the landlord's preference on this subject. However at times the number of quality enquiries from pet-owner applicants is so high the subject is brought up for further consideration.
In this article we discuss the value of listing your investment property as pet-friendly, as well as the main points to consider before doing so.
How many pet owners are there in the rental market in Australia?
Too many to ignore. Just consider these statistics:
Why should I consider allowing pets in my rental property?
1. Increased demand for your rental due to lower supply
Pet owners often have difficulty finding a rental property. This means that rental properties which are willing to accept pets will have a higher level of demand in the market than comparable properties which do not accept pets.
2. Broader pool of rental applicants to choose from
A rental property open to accepting pets will attract a broader pool of applicants. This can result in a larger selection of high-quality tenants, as well as a reduction in days the property is vacant without generating a rental income.
3. Potential for higher rent
Aside from a broader pool of applicants to choose from, the competitive nature of finding a suitable rental property to accommodate a pet can be such that an increased rent can be negotiated with the tenant. Pet owners are often open to paying more in rent given how difficult it can be to find a rental property.
4. Pet friendly properties stand out from the crowd
This point is especially important if your rental property is competing with many other comparable properties in the area. Did you know that both major property search engines realestate.com.au and domain.com.au allow users to filter their search results to only display those which allow pets? If your property is one of the few which appears in these results, you will notice a significant increase in interest.
5. Secure a longer-term tenant
Given pet owners know how difficult it can be finding a rental property, research has shown that responsible pet owners make excellent tenants who will look after the property and abide by the rules. This is because a pet-owning tenant knows how hard it will be to find another home if they need to move out, so they will work hard to keep the home in good order to avoid house hunting.
As stated by Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Vice President Dr David Neck:
"A tenant with a pet is, by definition, a person who has to think about and care for another being on a daily basis. This will translate into an appreciation of their surrounding neighbours and their landlord".
What should I consider before accepting pets in my rental property?
1. Is your yard suitable for a pet?
You need to first consider if your property is suitable for a pet. Is there space for a pet to "roam" outside? Are the yards securely fenced? If the tenant claims they have an "outside pet", consider where the pet may go when it is raining heavily or during a storm.
2. Consider your floor surfaces
Polished timber floors can scratch while carpets may absorb odours and become stained. Give thought to how easily the materials in your home could be cleaned if a pet were permitted indoors.
3. Is your paint durable and easy to clean?
Walls must be easily able to be cleaned and wear well. Ensure your walls are painted with a quality, long lasting and durable paint.
4. Air flow through the home is essential
If your rental property has poor ventilation and a pet is allowed indoors, odours can build up especially over a long period of time. Air flow through the home will help reduce this problem.
5. Blinds rather than curtains
Curtains may be irresistible to cats and can also be a harbour for pet hair. Homes with blinds rather than curtains are generally easier to clean and more pet friendly.
6. Check that your landlord insurance covers pet damage
If accepting a pet into your rental property, be sure that your landlord insurance covers pet damage. Many do not, or provide little cover in their standard policies.
7. Review the terms of your tenancy agreement
If considering renting your property to a pet owner, you may wish to add a special condition in your lease that the property be steam cleaned and fumigated when the tenant leaves.
Choose an experienced, professional property manager
One of your strongest assets when renting to a pet owner is a professional property manager. An experienced property manager will thoroughly check references of potential tenants to ensure previous rental history is of a very high quality and that there were no issues in returning the tenant's bond in full at the end of the tenancy.
Additionally, a professional property manager will of course conduct detailed and regular routine inspections to monitor the state of your property and ensure there is no excessive wear and tear or damage during the tenancy.
Contact us today for an open discussion around the suitability of your rental property for pets and our recommendation if you are considering making your investment pet-friendly.
About Carnelian Property Management Newcastle
We are a family-owned and run Newcastle business. We’re landlords. We’re home owners. We’ve also been long-term tenants. We are refreshingly accessible with intimate knowledge of the greater Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Fern Bay rental markets.
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