Pets, such as pet dogs and cats, are a good company to keep. However, especially if you are a tenant renting a property, there are just times when your landlord is hostile about these furry friends. Here is everything you must know about renting with pets in Australia.
Pets are treasured and valued members of many families in Australia. They are with you in both good and bad times. But there are times when it is not easy to bring pets into your residence, especially when you reside in a rental property.
Despite the many individuals who are advocating for allowing pets in rental properties, some landlords are not agreeable with this, amidst research that reveals pet owners tend to stay longer in the rental property and pay more rent.
Let us look at the facts. Currently, there is a shortage of pet-friendly rental properties across the Pacific nation. A study echoed on the website Beanstalk Mums said that as few as five percent of advertised rental properties allow these pets, while a third of Australians rent. For one, state tenancy law reforms in Victoria are aiming to help more pet owners find suitable rental properties where they can own pets without the landlord disagreeing with this. However, it has also been said that Australians are yet to see these reforms materializing in various states.
Nevertheless, as a pet owner, you can find ways to land a pet-friendly home and make yourself an abiding tenant to prospective landlords. Having said all of these, what is there that should be known?
Tips When Renting With Pets
Here are the tips that you must and ought to remember when renting with pets.
1. Look For The Ideal Property For You And Your Pets
Right now, we will tell you that not every rental property is suitable for pets. There are times when the “perfect home” you want to live in is not the best for your furry friend. For instance, a two-bedroom space located in the inner city may not be the ideal space for your Golden Retriever or Border Collie since these are larger dog breeds that necessitate high levels of exercise and so require a larger area to play and run. A property of this kind may be better suited for pocket pets or cats.
2. Be Courageous To Ask Your Questions About Renting With Pets
While there tends to be a lack of pet-friendly residences in Australia, it is still possible that not all of these listings are marked not suitable for pets. There are times when pets are negotiable terms in the deal. Talk to your landlord and tell them the pet you own and ask whether they will consider you as their tenant. The worst they can say to you is “no,” but there are landlords who are kinder about this.
3. Write And Produce A Pet Resume
This is a quirky tip when renting with pets. With these pet resumes, landlords will feel that their tenants and their tenants’ pets can look after the property, and treat the space with respect.
While the landlord, for sure, cannot interview pets, you, as the tenant, can provide the landlords with more details about the pet they will allow on their property through the resume. This documentation should include information about the pet, such as breed, age, temperament, vaccination history, and training, among others.
Moreover, you should also speak to the veterinarian of your pet and ask them to vouch for your furry friend’s good behavior. You should treat this step like your job interview. First impressions count, so consider introducing the property manager or the landlord to your pet.
4. Pay A Bond
Know that there are renters who are more open to having pets on their property, provided that there is a pet bond that will cover any future pet damage. Western Australia, so far, is the only state where these types of bonds can be charged. However, they are not compulsory.
5. Offer To Pay More Rent
If you really need to have pets on the property you are renting, consider offering the landlord more than the advertised rental fees to overcome these pet restrictions. If you can afford to pay higher, the extra rental income that the landlord will get may help protect the property from any perceived risks.
6. Keep Things Clean
One of the most common concerns that landlords have regarding renting with pets is cleanliness. They know that pets shed fur and can bring in a mess from the backyard. As a responsible pet owner and tenant, you should show you are responsible for your pet ownership by keeping everything clean, from deep cleaning carpets, perhaps, to deodorizing the property when you leave, and more. Doing this minimizes the risks when renting properties with pets. When you keep things clean, your landlords will be more open to you living in the rental properties with your pets.
7. Prove Yourself (And Your Pets, Too)
If you have rented a property with your pets successfully in the past, providing your new landlord with the contact details of your previous landlord will help them reach out to them to ask how responsible you were with your pets in the last rental property you have lived on.
If your new landlord or property manager is still not convinced, what you can do is suggest a rental trial. This could be a short lease period that will allow you to show how responsible you are as a pet owner.
8. Get Everything In Writing
As with many aspects of life, getting things in writing is among the best ways to move forward. If you successfully land a pet-friendly rental property, be sure to get everything in writing. The rental agreement should state specifically that you are permitted to keep pets. These documents will provide reassurance if unforeseen circumstances occur or when things suddenly change.
9. Honesty Is Always The Best Policy When You Rent With Pets
A tenant must openly and honestly communicate with their property manager or landlord about their pet, or not keeping a pet without their permission.
Now that you have learned helpful tips when renting with pets in Australia, let us take a glimpse at the laws and regulations regarding this. Read on.
Laws For Renting With Pets In Australia
In Australia, there are three sets of regulations you should know when it comes to renting with pets. They are the state laws, the rental agreement in place, and the strata scheme rules if you live in an apartment building.
There are no laws directly covering pets in tenancies in certain states like New South Wales and Victoria. Therefore, landlords who are opposed to allowing pets in their properties include clauses in the agreement prohibiting renters from keeping them.
On the other side of the coin, meanwhile, more pet-friendly landlords may require these renters to seek approval before bringing their pets to the properties.
Things are generally the same when it comes to apartment buildings. Strata schemes usually include a by-law regulating various circumstances and situations by which owners and tenants can keep pets. These by-laws may or may not prohibit pets in the properties.
Beyond these, in Victoria, things are different. Under this Australian state’s proposed laws, landlords will only be able to refuse pet ownership in properties in particular situations. Meaning to say, landlords in this state cannot “unreasonably” just refuse a request to own a pet in rental properties.
Lastly, as you have learned a while ago, Western Australia is the only state in this Pacific country where landlords can charge pet bonds from tenants who wish to keep pets in the properties.
There is no denying there are people whose pets are already part of their lives. Also, there is no denying that renting with pets also comes with several challenges. With these being said, it is very crucial that every tenant who wishes to bring in pets know the regulations that bind this. With this, you should also know your rights and be prepared when the landlord communicates with you regarding this matter. A life with pets is paired with various benefits – social, psychological, and physical – so it is worth taking the extra mile.