Yay Or Nay To Allowing Pets

Nowadays our pets are becoming more and more adored and considered as a family member – after all pets add so much value to our lives!

With over 25 million pets in Australia, and nearly 5 million of Australia’s 7.6 million households, are homes to pets.  At 63% we are one of the highest rated countries for pet ownership, with 39% household having a dog.

So it is clear to say we like having them around and we will continue to (maybe even more as population grows) into the future.

With these stats in mind, I wanted to discuss the option of  making your portfolio four legged friendly, and  show some guidelines to follow to help minimize your risk.

As I am sure, if you have heard a story about this, 9/10 it is a bad case and as a result it’s natural for Investors to be wary of allowing pets because of the damage that might occur.

I personally have not had a bad experience with pets, and in my opinion it does depend on the type of house, suburb, tenant, and property management.

In saying that, if I have a great looking tenant applying for a property I wouldn’t want to scare them away by advertising strictly no pets – pets on consideration is always a good option to keep the applications coming through.

So say you have an application where the tenant has a dog already and you are considering it…Here’s what I would do;

Check the tenant’s references, and find out if there ever was a note or complaint that the pet created disturbance or damage during a previous tenancy.  Also check if  the pet for this tenancy the same as in the other tenancies?

When that all comes back fine then I would;

Grab all the details of the pet, like age and breed and add in some additional term within the Agreement so there is a firm understanding to the consent that you have granted.  Also put a restriction to the number of pets allow at the property.

Then put in place whether the pet is allowed inside or outside, and make it the responsibility of the tenant to fumigate (internally or externally), and steam clean the carpets upon exiting.

Now check your Landlord Insurance policy to see if pet damages are covered within your policy.  Usually this is not standard, but it can be put in for an extra cost.

Manage your risks by doing all of these steps and make sure routine inspections are happening regularly (get photo’s) to avoid anything big and ugly popping up at an exit report.

I believe if you find the right tenant who respects the house, and the right property management team to keep everything on track – then you should be OK 🙂

Of course everyone is different and will have a different experience…  At the end of the day you make the call you are most comfortable with

But with the number of people owning pets these days, are you prepared to narrow down the potential tenant pool by not even considering a pet?

Tell us what think 🙂