Renting With Pets
The question: Renting With Pets? renting a property when you are the owner of a beloved pet can be either a fraught or a friendly process. A lot depends on the disposition of the landlord; do they like cats or are they a dog person? Do they not like animals in general?
There are really two perspectives on the issue: the perspective of the landlord and that of the tenant. In Australia, many of us are animal lovers and our pets are part of the family, and more than that, they are like our children, and we could not think of living without them. From the point of view of a tenant looking for a property that is suitable for a pet, the market conditions can cause a great deal of distress, anxiety, and turmoil, and if there is pressure to quickly find a roof over your head, but no one will allow your buddy to come with you, it can create some very upsetting problems. Some find themselves needing an expensive temporary foster carer, or worse yet, needing to give away their companions after having cared for them for years. It is a really heartbreaking circumstance to be in.
For landlords though, pets can mean extra wear and tear on the property; scratched floors, damaged furniture, and
dug up garden beds. All these kinds of things mean lost dollars for the property investor, and many try to limit those outgoings.
Yes Property Agents suggests there needs to be a balance between these two competing interests so that tenants can enjoy the enrichment to their lives that a pet brings, which does so much good for their wellbeing, whilst also respecting the landlord’s financial interests and ensuring their investment will be in safe hands, such as the tenant agrees to pay the repair costs for the damage their pets may cause and making sure that the property is suitable for the type of pet that would be living there.
In many cases around the country, these changes are already happening, as many houses and apartment buildings make allowances for pets in ways that were not common previously. However, on many real estate rental advertisements, pet owners are saddened to see the words “no pets allowed” and are left with few options in a very competitive rental environment.
So what side of the argument do I fall on? Well, as a dog owner, I think property investors should show compassion to prospective tenants who own pets because so what if there’s a couple of scratches on the floor, or a hole dug in the yard – those things can be easily fixed and a small price to pay when balanced against the happiness of a good, reliable tenant, who may occupy the premises for a long time. In that situation, everyone wins.
This sentiment is echoed by the ACT government, which has recently amended the law in the Residential Tenancies
Act in favor of pet ownership and imposes restrictions on landlords’ ability to deny pets. Similar amendments are likely to come about in other states in the near future.
A good real estate agent understands the different interests and perspectives of landlords and tenants and can help negotiate an ideal outcome that will be included in the rental agreement to produce a mutually beneficial relationship between the parties.