Should you allow pets in your rental property?

Should you allow pets in your rental property?
By Kathryn Dean

Should you allow pets in your rental property?

If you have a rental property, at some stage you will have to decide whether or not it will allow pets. To make this decision, you will have to consider whether the property is suitable for pets, by looking at things like are there expensive pieces of furniture which could be damaged by animals, is the backyard suitably fenced for a dog to run around in and is your property large enough for pets.

You will also have to consider what type of pets you will allow and how you will factor in the cost of repairs of any potential damage that pets may cause to your property. You will even have to consider the cost of cleaning the property as some pets leave an odour. Though this might sound like a lot of work, allowing pets in your rental property can actually have many positive benefits.

Widen the net of potential renters

Allowing pets in your rental property will increase the number of renters that you are able to market your house to. When a property does not allow pets, it can only be marketed to families who do not have a pet, whereas property owners that do allow pets can market their properties to anyone. With more and more people opting to own some type of pet nowadays, you will be able to market your property to many more people.  I’ve even heard of people not applying for a rental property because they had a bird and the advertisement said ‘no pets’, so you may want to consider advertising as ‘certain pets are ok, but no dogs or cats’ for example.

Make more money

Allowing pets into your rental property may even enable you to increase the rent per week on your property to cover any potential damage to the property caused by pets. You can also ask for a pet-deposit, which is a type of bond to cover damage caused by pets, as well as a pet fee per month, for the privilege of pets being allowed on the property.

Whilst these payments may only be small amounts of money, they are sure to add up over time. If you are trying to rent out a property in an area with few pet-friendly rentals available, you may also be able to increase the rent per week because your property is unique and hard to come by.

Achieve greater protection

Whilst pets can potentially damage your property, leaving you to carry out maintenance on the property, advertising your property as a pet-friendly property can actually be advantageous. When you advertise your property as pet-friendly, you set out all pet-related maintenance costs and bonds from the outset. This ensures that both you and your tenants are on the same page about each of your responsibilities with regard to the pet(s). Advertising your property as pet-friendly eliminates the risk of tenants housing their pets in your property in secret. If you were to advertise as non-pet-friendly, which means that there would be no financial measures in place to protect against any damage caused by their pets.

Reduce tenant turnover

Pet owners are generally less likely to move from rental property to rental property as it is more difficult for them to find a suitable property for their pets. Renting your property out as a pet-friendly property could save you time and money by reducing the turnover of tenants and eliminating the need for the property to be put on the market as frequently as it might have had to have been.

Protecting your asset

Some insurance companies offer pet damage cover as part of their landlord insurance.  If you decide to allow pets it might be a good idea to shop around for appropriate insurance to cover any pet damage.  You can also have a pet clause drawn up in the lease agreement stating that the tenant is liable for any damage their pet causes to the property.

If you have any questions or need some advice regarding your rental property, don’t hesitate to phone Kathryn from Dean Family Real Estate, on 0414 838 405. I’m always happy to help and to chat real estate.