Did you know that Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world? Interestingly, many landlords in Australia have a “no pets’ policy in their properties, probably because they think pets will cause damage or make a mess (to combat this, see our article on how to keep your home clean when you have pets). With almost two-thirds of Australians owning a pet, there are a number of reasons why you should consider making your rental property pet-friendly!
- Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent.
Payment of a ‘pet deposit’ or ‘pet bond’ is not permitted in most Australian states; however, many dog and cat owners are prepared to pay a premium rent price for a pet-friendly property. This comes down to basic principles supply and demand. If there aren’t many pet-friendly properties on the market and there is suitable demand, prices go up. In fact, research suggests that landlords may be able to charge up to 14% more rent for pet-friendly properties.
- Larger pool of prospective tenants.
A reasonable proportion of Australian rental applicants look specifically for pet-friendly properties. This directly translates to more applications for pet-friendly properties. As a landlord or property manager, you can be more selective when choosing from a large pool of tenants and lease the property quickly.
- Responsible pet owner = responsible tenant.
It makes good sense that if you can take good care of your pet, you can take good care of a home. Responsible pet owners are often respectful and treat their space as well as they treat their pets.
Additionally, because it can be difficult to find pet-friendly options as a renter, they will take more care to keep the property in good condition to avoid having to find another pet-friendly home.
- Tenants with pets want to hold longer leases.
The difficulty of finding a pet-friendly property as a tenant means they are more inclined to sign a lease with a longer lease term. They are also more likely to renew their lease at the end of their existing lease. This is a huge bonus as a landlord because you are reducing potential vacancies and maximising your cash flow.
- Reduce your advertising spend.
Similar to the points above, because pet-friendly properties are in demand and they hold leases longer, you reduce time and money spent on marketing the property.
- No more problems with ‘hidden’ pets.
If your property is pet-friendly, you completely avoid people breaking their lease by having pets in the property they haven’t told you about!
- Promote animal welfare.
Animal welfare agencies in Australia suggest a number of pets (almost 30%) are surrendered by owners who can’t secure suitable pet-friendly accommodation, which is a very unfortunate outcome. Making your property pet-friendly can help reduce a number of animal surrenders and promote animal welfare.
- “Considering pets” will not lock you into a pet-particular outcome.
You can have the option of advertising the property as ‘pets considered’. This means you will attract tenants who have pets and widen your tenant pool, but you’re not obliged to choose a tenant with a pet. You can also screen tenants and rule out irresponsible pet owners.
- Pet application and agreement forms are available.
In Australia, Pet Application and Pet Agreement forms are available and are standardised to provide landowners and managing agents to gather information relating to the way the pet is cared for and other particulars about the expectation of pet-owning tenants.
- Pet owners are happier.
Pets are proven to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and stress. If your tenant has a pet, there’s a good chance they are happier and, at the end of the day, a happy tenant is a good tenant.
Given the above reasons, investing in pet-friendly properties can provide you with a competitive advantage in the rental market. With pet ownership on the rise, it only makes sense that you consider a change in your policy.
At Red & Co, we aim to provide a niche in the pet-friendly property market. If you’re considering making your property pet-friendly, please contact us on 1300 88 73 28. Alternatively, email one of our expert property managers on [email protected] or [email protected].