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Pets or Not – Your Guide as a Landlord

Couple with petsOne of the biggest challenges faced by landlords today is one of the most fundamental – locating, on boarding and retaining good tenants. And with Australia’s boom in apartment and house supply across its largest cities, the rental market is becoming incredibly competitive.

Where you could have been more selective as a landlord 10 years ago, you sadly no longer have that luxury. Instead of rifling through hundreds of applications and picking the best tenants of the bunch, you now need to fight to convince budding renters that your property is worth their time. But how can you do this? 

Well, considering allowing pets in your rental property for one is a great start. It’ll open up a new section of the market who previously would’ve had to consider leaving their pet behind if they wanted to rent from you – something the vast majority wouldn’t do.

Pet-friendly rentals are still hard to come by, leaving you with an excellent opportunity to capitalise on a growing niche. Here’s what you need to know: 

What Types of Pets Should You Permit? 

Each of your properties is likely to be different, so you ned to carefully consider which you’ll allow and which you won’t. For example, if the property only has a small courtyard, you might want to limit it to cats. If you have a large yard, however, dogs might work out alright.

You should also take a long, hard look at your carpet – because after you’ve allowed animals to run across it for a couple of months, it’s going to look depressingly different. If you’re thinking about allowing pets, it might be worth swapping out carpets for hardwood flooring. Not only is it harder wearing, it also doesn’t retain odour.

Set Up a Pet Policy for Your Tenants

Whatever you do, don’t let your tenants bring an animal into your property without signing a pet policy.

Your agreement might stipulate that all pets need to be pre-approved by you, and you should also include specific details of which types of animals you’ll allow.

You should also set out guidelines for tenants with pets. For example, you may want to state that dogs aren’t allowed inside, or that no animals are allowed within certain rooms of the property.

Check Any References Thoroughly

If you’re considering allowing pets, you’re doing so to attract fresh tenants who are willing to pay a premium. The last thing you want is to accidentally source a tenant from hell. To avoid this nightmare becoming a reality, ensure you check any and all references thoroughly before handing over the keys. If past landlords have experienced any issues with their pets, you’ll be sure to find out about it.