Investment Properties & Pets

The idea of allowing pets at your rental property may send a shiver up the spine of many investors in QLD and throughout Australia.

“What if a pet damages my property?”

“What if a noisy bark upsets the neighbors?”

There's lots to think about, and it may seem easier to decide no pets are allowed. However, with more and more people owning pets today, especially as more people have no choice but to rent, as an investor you may miss out on quality tenants if you completely rule out tenants with pets.

In this article, we share the key upsides and downsides of allowing pets at your investment property.

Tenant Scope

Around 90 per cent of Australian households have had a pet at some time. And as we saw throughout the various stages of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions in 2020, getting a furry friend was a popular option for people. Everyone was staying home more, and it was the perfect time to train a new pet. With pet ownership continuing to be popular, allowing pets at your property will naturally open you up to a larger pool of tenants when your property is available for rent.

Key Benefits

Many dog owners have been refused a rental property because they have a furry friend, whether the pet is well behaved or not. While some pets out there aren't well behaved, a responsible tenant will likely be a responsible pet owner, so you can be assured that you'll attract some quality tenants.

Further, with pet-friendly properties still in short supply around Australia, making your property pet-friendly may help it rent faster and attract more inquiries. Your property manager should be requesting ask “pet resume" to make sure you have all the details before deciding.

Possible Risks

While making your property pet friendly has the potential to attract more potential tenants, there are some downsides to consider too.

Firstly, and it's likely the factor at the front of many landlord's minds, pets may damage a property through chewing, digging and leaving stains on carpets. To protect your property, make sure your property manager does their due diligence to check that the furry friend is well behaved. You may also consider updating your fencing to be extra secure and change floor coverings from carpet to tiles or laminate to reduce the risk of stains.

Setting clear guidelines from the start is also important, so the tenant knows what will happen if the pet is too noisy or damages the property.

This will generally come in the form of what is commonly known as a pet clause. Many tenancies will have an extra clause that outlines their obligations as being a pet owner whilst leasing a property in QLD which includes:

· Responsibility for pet on site & its containment

· Requirements for damage rectifications

· Expectations for at property handover (exit) Such as cleaning, flea treatment and garden condition

If you've ever owned a pet, you probably know the joy it brings to your life. Current and potential tenants are likely to be much the same. If you allow pets in your property while protecting yourself as best you can, you can attract more prospective tenants to a property and potentially have these tenants become long-term residents as pet-friendly properties are still hard to come by. It's certainly worth considering, especially once you have the right precautions in place.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.
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