Should you accept pets in your rental property?

 

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 property investors from all the potential benefits of offering a pet-friendly property.

 

It is important for property investors 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 increase tenant interest

It gives a property an advantage over competing properties

Advertising a 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, including additional cleaning and pet repair costs.