Should you accept pets at your rental property?

10 Mar 2016

Property investors have long been hesitant to list their properties as pet-friendly on the rental market. Fears that animals will damage their property sometimes prevent landlords from all the potential benefits of offering a pet-friendly property. It is important for landlords to consider all the benefits and potential pitfalls before a decision is made, to ensure they are not needlessly excluding a large amount of prospective tenants.

Benefits of a pet-friendly property

  • Pet-friendly properties immediately increases tenant interest;
  • It gives your property an advantage over competing properties;
  • Advertising your property as pet-friendly makes the rental more in-demand, which reduces time and money spent on advertising;
  • Pet-friendly properties more often than not increase the weekly rent;
  • In-demand properties (such as pet-friendly) have very short vacancy periods, limiting pauses in cash flow from rent payments;
  • Once a pet-owner secures a property they feel ‘at home’ having their pets with them, and are therefore less likely to leave. This creates a steady rental income for the landlord.

Pitfalls of a pet-friendly property

  • Potential damage from animals chewing or scratching the property
  • Potential odour from animals
  • Noise complaints

How to make your investment property pet-friendly

Making slight modifications to your investment property can minimise the damage caused by tenants’ pets (such as scratches to floors and doors) and the need for excessive maintenance.

  • Consider tiles or linoleum flooring rather than carpet or floorboards
  • Ensure the outdoor space is securely fenced off to attract tenants with outdoor pets
  • Install additional features such as doggie-doors
  • Ensure the tenant signs a pet agreement outlining their responsibilities, additional cleaning or pet repair costs making it clean in their pet-friendly property obligations