The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has reported a large amount of renters who own pets are struggling to find housing, often being forced to look to outer suburbs and even regional locations or even to give up their pets.
42% of pet-owners looking to rent are recorded as finding it ‘extremely difficult’ to get a tenancy, while only 10% of properties in Queensland allow pets (according to the Residential Tenants Authority). This has caused many real estate groups to push for more pet-friendly rental properties.
As seen by the statistics above, the market for pet-friendly rental housing is heavily under supplied, and with vacancy rates seeing an increase to 4.4% recently, finding tenants has become increasingly important to many investors.
So for any investors looking to provide pet-friendly housing for potential tenants, here are a few handy tips and things to remember:
Some property owners don’t accept pets out of concern they could leave expensive property damage, but according to the RTA, ‘tenants are responsible for any damage to the property caused by their pets’.
Responsible pet owners will make sure to minimise and fix any damages. It is often wise for a pet owner to provide toys, a scratching post, and to clean up for their pet.
Carpets are often the victims to cats and dogs, and while they can still be steam-cleaned or rinsed with white vinegar, they will deteriorate if you allow pets.
Instead, it could be wiser to opt for tile flooring or vinyl, which are both much easier to mop and hardly ever leave stains.
Pet resumes are very important to finding out more about a tenant’s pet. Many of the facts provided can also say a lot about how well a tenant takes care of their pet. Information like breed, hair-length, house-training, size, and activity can be the difference between a yes and no.
Apps and websites have pet resumes as an added feature, but many owners will keep a record of vaccinations and vet visits, which will say a lot about the history of the pet and what diseases its protected against.
Having said that of course once you have let the property and allowed pets, it is easy for the tenant to introduce a new previously unknown pet.
Landlord insurance policies do not always cover damage caused due to Pets.
Be mindful that pet insurance is for actual vet expenses, so make sure you look into landlord insurance for protection to your property from damage.
Many pets are generally considered as outdoor creatures, regardless of size and disposition, making it much more difficult for pet-owners to rent an apartment, which often have limited outdoor space.
Pets like fish and guinea pigs will be lower maintenance and less likely to cause damage to the property. Don’t be afraid to say yes to more placid species like fish, but just remember that some animals are off-limits in Queensland.
RTA – Pets in rental homes