Finding the perfect rental property can be quite difficult. Things like proximity to transport, schools, essential services and work, as well as affordability and space in a good area, narrow the field. Add “pet friendly” to this wish list and the number of choices available plummets.
The RSPCA takes in thousands of pets every year with the hope of re-homing them, but unfortunately many are euthanised when new owners cannot be found. A significant proportion of these animals are handed in by distraught pet owners who are forced to make the awful choice between being homeless or giving up their beloved pet.
Many Owners Concerned About Damage to their Properties
As property managers responsible to our owners for the condition of their rental properties, what can we do to close this gap? At Bunbury Real Estate we advise pet owners to put in a little extra effort before they start looking. We also tell them that many owners are concerned that their property could be trashed by tenants who are irresponsible pet owners.
Save Time and Ask About Pets Up Front
To allay those fears, we have a few suggestions. Firstly, save time and anguish by asking first “Do you have any rentals that will allow pets?” This is particularly important if you are looking for an apartment, studio or unit. In the high-density living market, strata company by-laws usually prevent occupants from keeping pets.
There could be exceptions, for example a couple of caged birds, a cat or a small dog may be acceptable but large dogs may not. Asking up-front ensures that nobody is wasting their time applying for a property that will not be suitable.
Speak Directly to the Property Manager
Try to speak directly to a property manager. Asking that first vital question of someone else in the agency, such as the receptionist who does not know the property or the owner, may be a missed opportunity. It could be that a particular owner will accept a pet if the tenant has an excellent history and references.
Where a tenant has already rented somewhere else they should ask for their pets to be mentioned in any references. This will go a long way to convincing an owner and a property manager, that they are responsible tenants who will keep their pets under control.
Pet Bond and References may Convince Strata Companies
Go the extra step and do a pet profile. This should contain information about the pet and its habits, some testimonials from former neighbours and rental agents, photos and of course, current vaccination certificates and local government registrations. Offer to pay a pet bond, to cover any damage that the pet may do to the property. This may even satisfy some apartment owners and prompt submissions to the body corporate on your behalf.
Here at Bunbury Real Estate we do our best to match our owners and tenants so that everyone gets what they want. We never recommend trying to hide the pet as it only ends in tears for everyone.