Should you allow your tenants to keep pets?
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, yet Australian pet owners often struggle to find landlords that allow pets in their investment properties.
If you’re fortunate enough to own an investment property, you should consider the various pros and cons to allowing or forbidding pets in your investment property.
On the one hand, listing your investment property as pet-friendly will give you access to a wider spread of tenants potentially increasing demand for your rental. This could mean your property spends less time on the market, thereby saving you advertising costs. In addition, tenants who own pets are more likely to rent long term as they know pet-friendly rental properties are harder to come by.
On the other hand, allowing pets into your investment property could have negative consequences as pets could lead to more wear and tear in your property.
This will vary greatly on the type of property you own and the pet the tenant would like to bring into the dwelling. A well trained dog, cats or small caged pets are potentially harmless to your property.
If you are considering allowing pets in your investment property, you can insist that your tenants keep smaller pets and stipulate which parts of the property the animal can enter. For example, dogs are not permitted indoors, only in the backyard etc.
Keep in mind that even though you may permit your tenants to bring pets into your investment property, the style of your property may dictate otherwise. While you may be a flexible landlord, strata regulations could make the decision for you. If your investment property is in an apartment complex with a no pet policy, your hands are tied.
If you are wanting to take advantage of the wider spread of tenants you would have access to by allowing pets, you may have to make some modifications to your home such as changing the flooring. Carpet is the least pet-friendly flooring option so consider switching the flooring in your property to a more durable surface such as tiles or vinyl. Not only are these surfaces easier to clean, they’re less likely to absorb stains or odours. You may also need to make changes that ensure the safety of your tenant’s pets. If your investment property is a freestanding house, ensure it is properly fenced off to prevent the pets escaping.
With this in mind, landlords should be selective when choosing a tenant. Should you decide to allow pets in your property, ensure you ask for a reference from your tenants to ensure their pet did not damage previous homes.