Should I allow pets in my rental property?

Should you allow your tenants to keep a pet at your investment property?

Everyone has a different opinion on this topic.  Here are some tips on what to consider before accepting a pet in your rental property. Did you know that 62% of Australian’s or 2/3rds have pets? 10% of rentals properties allow for pets. Which means properties that do NOT allow pets, may take longer to rent out.

Most landlords are frightened to allow pets due to the damage they might do, I have a dog, a cat and a 5-year-old and I spend more time cleaning up after my daughter.  Besides my dog doesn’t write his name on the walls with lipstick!

A proactive property manager who conducts thorough detailed inspections quarterly, will pick up on smells, damage, breach’s in their tenancy agreement early and will have any issues rectified quickly instead of waiting until the tenants vacate.

Your property manager should have a section on their tenancy application form for a tenant to declare the details of their pet.  The number, type and breed of animal(s) will often play a role in whether you can approve the tenant’s pet.  For example, you might be very happy to allow your tenant to keep a budgie in a cage, but not four bull mastiff dogs.  So, the tenancy application is a good place to start and help you decide whether you want to consider the pet further.

If, after seeing the pet application, you’re considering approving the pet, get your property manager to investigate:

  • If your investment property is a unit/townhouse, whether the by-laws will allow pets in the complex,
  • Whether the pet has been living at the tenant’s previous rental property,
  • What the tenant’s rental reference is like, with particular attention to how the property was presented, were they any issue’s arising from the pet?
  • If the pet is appropriately desexed and registered with local council,
  • Photos of the pet to show that it does look like the breed described in the application form

If you’re satisfied with the information you’ve received, then make sure your property manager refers to the conditions that the tenant is allowed to keep the pet under within the tenancy agreement, so that you and your investment property are adequately protected.