4 things tenants should consider to help their search for a pet-friendly property

Tenants with a fur-baby often report that they find it difficult finding a property that both suits all their needs and that is also “pet-friendly”.

When searching for a pet-friendly property there are some simple things that you can do as a tenant to increase your chances of finding the ideal property.

1. Consider the impact of Body Corporate and Council by-laws

Councils and Bodies Corporate often have rules about what pets may be considered, how many can be kept and general conditions for keeping a pet.

It is important to research all by-laws and other regulations that may impact on keeping a pet in each property.

Many by-laws prohibit the keeping of pets over certain sizes – 10kg limits are common.

Other by-laws give power to the Committee to consider each pet on application and to impose conditions.

Asking the rental agency at open homes about what restrictions apply can help save the heartache of applying for properties where the by-laws really aren’t compatible with keeping your type and number of pets.

2. Put your pet’s best paw forward

Agencies and landlords may hold concerns about renting a property to a tenant who will be sharing the space with a pet.

Damage, noise complaints, odour, fleas and other pests are just some of the increased risks to owners and agencies posed by pets.

Some things you can do to decrease any concerns held by the agency or landlord can include:

  • get a pet reference from your neighbours about your pet’s good behaviour
  • provide evidence of Council registration
  • provide evidence of any de-sexing
  • get a reference from your vet about temperament, good health and regular check-ups
  • provide evidence of obedience schooling, including toilet training
  • offer to have the property professionally deodorised and a flea-treatment conducted annually, or at least at the end of the tenancy

3. Consider broadening the types of properties you will consider renting

Australia has a relatively high level of pet ownership with 62% of households owning a pet.  The number of properties advertised as pet-friendly is no-where near this figure.

Given the scarcity of properties that are advertised as “pet-friendly”, consider looking in nearby suburbs or for other types of properties.

For instance, there has been a recent shift in the Brisbane market for developers to create units where by-laws and facilities are much more pet-friendly compared to traditional unit complexes.  If you are having difficulty finding a house that will consider your furry friends then it may warrant considering a move to a unit.

4. Consider offering something to the landlord to sweeten the deal

Last, but definitely not least, a landlord will often warm to the idea of approving a pet if you sweeten the deal for them in some way.

Examples of how you can sweeten the deal can include:

  • offering to pay $5 or $10 per week over the advertised rent
  • commencing a tenancy ASAP after the advertised date of availability
  • offering to enter into a long-term tenancy of 12 months or more

If a tenant’s offer will effectively off-set the risks of approving a pet by eliminating other risks of property ownership then most landlords will give it serious consideration.

Best of luck in your search for a new home for your fur-baby!

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