Pets: Should You Allow Them In Your Investment Property?

March 15, 2017 Sam Saggers

There’s a large population of pets in Australia….approximately 25 million of them according to the ASPCA.

Each of these pets are owned by people who need accommodation.

While some of these pet owners own their own homes, many of them are renters in search of a home that will welcome their furry family members.

Should you disregard such a large pool of potential tenants in need of shelter (60 percent of renters, per the Australian Companion Animal Council) or is there more potential gain than loss in allowing pets into your investment property?

Some forty percent of investors, according to a survey by the Real Estate Institute of Australia, don’t allow pets with twenty-eight percent unsure whether or not they would rent to pet owners.

Were you to allow pets into your investment property you’d certainly be among the minority…and you’d find a huge pool of tenants ready and willing to pay more, just to keep their pets with them.

So should you rent to pet owners?

Ultimately of course the decision is yours, but there are benefits to renting to animal lovers.

  • Higher rental returns from pet owners who are willing to pay above suburb yields just so they can keep their beloved animals with them.
  • A large pool of potential tenants means fewer weeks your investment property sits empty.
  • As it’s more rare for renters to find pet friendly accommodations, tenants are much more reluctant to leave. The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says that animal owners will stay put longer to avoid disrupting their pets’ lives.  If you’ve found good tenants who take care of the property providing housing that allows animals is of benefit to both you and your tenant.
  • Dogs are a great deterrent to vandals and burglars.
  • While property damage can be a concern, the onus for repairs falls on your tenants, especially when you’ve included a ‘make-good’ clause into the contract.
  • Clauses that can be included in the contract include restrictions or guidelines to:
    • The type(s) and number of pets allowed (e.g. cats, fish, small breeds of dogs, one animal only, etc.)
    • Whether or not the animals must stay outside, such as larger breeds of dogs.

Should you decide to allow pets you can protect your investment by following some common sense guidelines.:

  • Provide a clause in your contract requiring all pets to be disclosed, so that you’re aware of what to expect.
  • Ask to meet your prospective tenants’ animals. Your property management agreement should include this as part of the agent’s management tasks.
  • Consider your property’s size and location when determining which pets are viable. For example, if your property only has a small outdoor space, it’s suited more for smaller breeds.

 

If you want to meet with like-minded people sharing the same interest for property investment,  you should register to attend our next Property Investor Night.
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