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Benefits of pets in rentals

There has always been the generalised assumption that allowing pets in rental properties adds an unnecessary risk of damage to rental properties along with potential disturbances. These have been the main reasons that landlords have said no to pets in the past. In my experience managing properties over the past 20 years, has been that more damage is caused by humans than a pet.

We all know that there will always be a legal argument for the review of legislation when it comes to renting with pets but regardless of the laws in place, it’s clear to us on the front line that more and more renters come with pets. Whether it’s a rental enquiry that we are fielding or asked at one of our Rental Open Homes, tenants always want to know if pets will be considered or are allowed in a specific rental listing. In many cases, tenants won’t attend inspections unless the consideration of pets is mentioned within the ad copy.

Of course, as Property Managers we see many clients with specific preferences and we also know some properties are simply not suited to pets so we must respect each owner’s decision.

If you’re on the fence about it, here are some reasons why you may like to consider renting your property to those with pets as part of their families.

Cast a much wider net of prospective tenants

There is a clear demand for pet-friendly properties. Whether people have pets or wish to secure a property with the possibility of having one down the track, the demand for properties that allow pets is obvious to anyone and everyone involved in the rental market. With only a small portion of rental properties openly advertising that they allow pets, there is a significant gap in the market. As a landlord, you can benefit from the demand and expand your reach to prospective tenants when you allow for those with pets and market your rental property in this way.

Reduce your vacancy

Properties are already renting quickly on the back of low vacancy rates, however, historically this hasn’t always been the case. Who really knows what could happen in the future? So, keep this in the back of your mind. If you open your property up to allow for those with pets, it may mean securing tenants faster. Also, when landlords have a large pool of potential candidates to choose from, it increases the chances of finding the right tenant within a much shorter time frame.

Maintain longer tenancies

Less turnover means less wear & tear. Because there is a shortage of pet-friendly rentals, tenants with pets often want to secure a home as quickly as possible knowing that it can be harder. When placed and happy in their homes it is always more likely that they will stay for a longer period of time. We know that tenants with pets simply want to secure a home for themselves and their fur babies and in most cases, stay as long as they possibly can. No one likes to move, but moving with pets is even less ideal.

Rental income potential

Being open to accommodating tenants with pets may allow you to achieve greater rental income compared to similar competing properties that don’t allow pets. This is particularly true if your home is suitably designed for pets and has features like a secure backyard, more suitable flooring, and a great indoor/outdoor living floor plan.

Happy tenants mean happy homes

The links between pet ownership and improved mental and physical health are very well documented. In fact, pets are said to reduce stress, provide companionship, require routine and organisation, and provide a sense of purpose. Happy tenants often lead to happy homes (which leads to happy landlords).

Open and honest communication

We have heard of it happening too often. Tenants who are banned from having pets sneak them into the property. They can get away with this by keeping the pet hidden and moving them out of the property during inspections. By allowing pets in a property, you know exactly what you are getting. Pets quite often come with a pet ‘resume’ or application of their own so you can get to know the tenant’s pet before it moves into the property. Of course, landlords can ask for information regarding the pet.

Consideration where consideration is due

A lot of the time, landlords are open to pets but want to reserve the right to consider the type of pet. We ask that landlords considering pets are actually open to the idea, of course, we need to then make sensible decisions on the type and size of the pet versus the property. So, when we say “Pets considered” we mean it, and we can then research temperaments, pet size, etc, to be able to make informed recommendations and decisions surrounding suitability.

Pet damage SHOULD be covered

Of course, each landlord’s insurance policy is different, but the main landlord insurance providers do cover pet damage. Landlords’ agents should be helping their clients protect their properties by having a clear and concise Pet Clause in the Lease Agreement and a thorough Ingoing Condition Report at the start of the tenancy. Clearly, the pet owner is responsible for any damage or excess wear and tear on the property caused by a pet. Landlord insurance is always important to have regardless of whether or not your tenant has a pet and tenants should have contents insurance of their own of course.

As much as I personally see the advantages of having tenants with pets, I understand that this is still very much a personal preference for each individual landlord.

However, with the ongoing reviews of Residential Tenancy Legislation in NSW which aims to align with other states for greater uniformity, I do predict that we will see legislation that will remove the right for landlords to choose whether or not their tenant has a pet. That removal of choice is not personally something I agree with but of course, as we must, we work within the guidelines of the legislation that is put in place. So essentially, I feel that at some stage in our near future, tenants will have the right to have pets regardless of the owner’s preference as has been introduced in Victoria.

In the meantime, for landlords, it’s important not to rule any situation or circumstance out and to look at the positives and negatives of any given applicant.

You can read another blog I wrote about Pets in Rental Properties here.


– Antonio

Director & Property Manager