The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) in conjunction with the Australian Companion Animal Council have put out their 2014 guides, one for landlords and one for renters, around allowing pets in investment properties.
They provide 10 reasons they think animals should be allowed:
- Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent.
- Pet-friendly properties rent faster.
- Responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants.
- Tenants with pets want to hold longer leases.
- Reduce your advertising spend.
- No more problems with ‘hidden’ pets.
- Most Australians feel their pet is part of the family and care for them as such.
- Reduce animal euthanasia; animal welfare agencies indicate that as many as 30% of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who are unable to locate adequate accommodation.
- “Considering pets” will not lock you into a pet- particular outcome.
- Pet application and agreement forms are available to help landlords and managing agents implement a successful pet management policy and help tenants understand how to responsibly manage pets.
In fact, when it comes to paying more rent, the research they cite suggests that renters are prepared to pay 7% to 14% more to bring their beloved pet along.
Basing their thoughts on US research that may reflect behaviours in Australia as well, they note that 25% of renters in the Companion Animal Renters and Pet-Friendly Housing in the US study were seeking pet-friendly accommodation, with applicable properties receiving twice as many applicants and renting out 10 days faster. The research from the US also suggests that longer leases are desired by tenants with pets, with some wanting to stay more than double the length of time as those without.
They also note that current Australia-based research suggests that 11% of pet-owning tenants keep their pets secretly, without telling their landlord, and usually it’s cats.
If you’re tempted to allow your tenant to keep pets, there are ways to go about it. Consider pet agreement forms, where you lay out your expectations, pet application forms for new tenants and, for Western Australian landlords, pet bonds.