As an investor, one of the decisions you will have to make when looking to rent out your property is whether you will allow pets or not. Approximately two thirds of all Australians own a pet, whilst the majority of rental properties have a strict “no pets” policy rule.
One of the major reasons for this is that many landlords believe that pets can devalue a home through damaged furniture, chewed up carpets, unpleasant odours and stains as well as fur everywhere. However this is not the case for all pet owners. Did you know that pet owners will typically pay higher rents for the premium of having a pet friendly apartment, so it can work in your favour to allow them?
Instead of ruling pet owners out altogether, it makes sense to set clear and fair rules. You should firstly decide on the types of pets that you will allow and make this clear to your tenants. However, you should only accept those that you feel are suitable for your rental property and that you are comfortable with.
To help you decide, here are some of the pros and cons of having a pet friendly property:
Pros of a pet friendly property
- You can charge higher rents and could even increase the rent per pet basis.
- You will get a higher response from advertising if you mention that pets are allowed due to a higher level of demand.
- Due to this higher level of demand, your property may rent quicker.
- Attract longer term tenants due to pet owners staying longer as there is a limited number of pet friendly rentals available.
- Tenants may be happier, more respectful and responsible of your property if pets are allowed.
- You could ask for a pet damage deposit if you are worried about pets damaging the rental unit or building.
Cons of a pet friendly property
- The pet owner might not be very good at cleaning up after their pets and the pet might not be very well trained.
- Pets might become a nuisance to neighbours through noise and damage.
- It might be tricky to remove odours and stains.
- Other tenants might be allergic to certain animals, like cats or dogs.
- The pet might cause a severe amount of damage which the initial deposit might not cover.
- Higher insurance premiums due to certain breeds of pets.
- An increased liability exposure to the landlord if the pet bites or attacks others.
- Loss of other tenants if animals become disruptive.
Deciding whether to make your property pet friendly or not should be taken into careful consideration to ensure that the decision is right for you and your property and that you are adhering to the Fair Housing Laws. Having a pet checklist can help find the right tenant and help to avoid some of the cons like not having a well-trained animal.
Published on 12th of January 2015 by Marty Stanowich