Pet friendly or not?

When getting ready to rent out your investment property one of the most important decisions you make is should my property be pet friendly or not. If you are amongst the landlords that decide against this pet friendly approach, then you may be missing out on a very large section of the market.

According to the 2013 Animal Health Alliance publication – Pet ownership in Australia, a staggering 63% of households within Australia own pets. Dogs and cats are the most common pets, with 39% of households owning a dog and 29% of households owning a cat. More than 1.1 million or 14.9% of Australian households plan on getting a pet within the next 12 months.

These sheer number of pet owners make a strong case for when considering making your property pet friendly. But what are some of the pros and cons?

63% of households own pets and are therefore searching for pet friendly properties and websites such as allow you to search using these parameters. Pet friendly properties rent faster, pet owners are generally willing to pay more rent, responsible pet owners can make great tenants and pet owners will often stay in a property for longer periods of time. You can also avoid the “hidden pet” issue where a tenant does not gain permission for a pet and hides them during inspections.

There are some minor disadvantages to a property being pet friendly. “Outside only” pets almost always become “inside sometimes” pets. Holes can be dug in gardens and lawns, fly screens can be damaged, pet hair can get into carpets and pet odour can be an issue. Many of these issues can be easily overcome if your tenancy agreement covers any special terms and conditions and your property manager is doing regular inspections.

Making your investment property pet friendly is generally a good financial decision and will lead to happy tenants and remember, pets are often better behaved than people.

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