Pets and rental properties: Key considerations for a pawfect experience


Real Property-Pets

Pets and rental properties: Key considerations for a pawfect experience

Pets are a joy in people’s lives, and it’s become increasingly common in recent years for people to have a pet. The rising number of pet owners is driving demand for pet-friendly rental properties, while some states have even changed their tenancy rules to make them more pet-friendly. Whether your property is currently vacant, and you want to make it pet friendly, or your current tenants have requested a pet, there are some things to consider to ensure your property is looked after and everyone is on the same page. Keep reading below to learn more.

Flooring and finishes

Obviously, it’s best to plan for pets when your property is vacant or you’re doing other renovations rather than being reactive when a tenant asks to have a pet. No matter what stage of the renovation journey you’re at, some key materials are more pet-friendly than others. Firstly, flooring in high-traffic areas or those adjoining the outdoor area or backyard should ideally be hard, such as tiles, laminate or timber. Not only are these surfaces easier to clean and more stain resistant, but they hold up better to wear and tear, too. 

If your property has carpet, ensure the tenant is aware of their responsibilities upon vacating the property. In most jurisdictions, this will include having a specific carpet clean for pets to remove odours or fur from the floor. If your tenant would like a pet door installed, see if they will split the cost with you or suggest renter-friendly options that aren’t permanent. 

Outdoor areas

The more space available for a pet to do their business, the better. Consider having a dedicated area in your property with grass or synthetic turf to keep any mess in one spot. And for apartment-dwelling pooches or cats, check that your tenant has a plan for toilet training their furry friend. 

Damage control

All tenants will know that the tenant must repair any damage caused by a pet. Make sure your property manager keeps on top of routine inspections to quickly action any maintenance and repair requests that arise as a result of their pet. 

Know the rules in your jurisdiction

Make sure you refer to the tenancy laws in your jurisdiction so you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding a tenant having a pet. In Victoria and Queensland, for example, the rules relaxed in 2022, making it easier for tenants to get approval for keeping a pet. And in [STATE], [include a sentence about your jurisdiction’s rules here].

Having a pet-friendly property can make it more appealing to a broader market. Not only is it a great way to attract long-term tenants, but proactively making changes to your home to reduce wear and tear and make cleaning a breeze is a smart move for the long-term condition of your property. If you’re unsure about your rights regarding your tenant having a pet, speak to your property manager to address any problems proactively. 

Remember, this article is general in nature and is not financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.   

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