How to ensure your pet is welcome in a rental

Did you know Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world?

Yep, we love our furry, scaled and feathered friends, with research indicating there are 29 million pets across the country.

Earlier this year, it was also noted around 70 per cent of Australian households have a pet, and with about a third of the population renting the property where they live, that means a significant number of pets call a rental property home.

But with pet ownership comes responsibilities, and that’s particularly the case if the pet is part of a rental agreement.

So, let’s look at how you can ensure your pet is a welcome addition and not a troublesome roommate who leaves the wrong rental legacy.

The laws have changed

Over recent years, the laws around pets and rentals have altered in a couple of Australian states, with many making it easier for renters to have animal companions in rental properties.

In Queensland, for example, as of October 1, a property owner had to provide good reason to say no to a pet in a rental property and they had to respond to a pet request within 14 days.

But while it may now be more commonplace for pets to be welcomed into rental properties, the rules regarding the way a renter looks after a property haven’t changed.

That means a renter is responsible for any damage a pet may cause and they may also have extra conditions in the agreement that address how that pet will be managed.

Picking the right property

While it’s now easier to have a pet in a rental property, the reality is some properties are more suited to some types of pets than others.

For example, large dogs will generally need a properly fenced outdoor area to roam in, while even smaller dogs might bark if left home alone all day.

Your pet’s size and disposition are worth bearing in mind when it comes to the best rental property for them.

Also, it pays to apply some commonsense too. Look at the property and its fixtures and fittings and consider whether they’re suitable for your furry friend.

Even though the pet might be permitted, if the property is likely to be damaged by them in some way, or their behaviour could cause issues, it’s probably worth seeking out something more suitable.

Good pet housemates

Regardless of whether you have a pet or not, it’s expected that at the end of a rental agreement the property will be returned in the same condition it was found in, barring fair wear and tear.

That means any damage caused by a pet is the responsibility of the rental occupier.

If there are conditions in the agreement regarding the approval of a pet, it’s also expected these will be adhered to.

So, for example, a rental agreement might stipulate pets are to be outside only, or that carpets need to be cleaned on exit and pest control for fleas must be completed.

A pet reference?

With the recent increase in pet ownership, more and more renters are also voluntarily providing a pet reference for their pet.

This helps indicate the pet doesn’t cause damage, is not an inconvenience and is suited to specific rental properties.

And, if you’re applying for a rental property with a pet in tow, it’s a great idea.

A pet reference allows a rental owner to envisage how the animal will be cared for at their property and how much impact they might have.

The final word

For many of us, pets are much-loved members of the family who come along wherever life takes us.

When pets live in a rental, it’s all about ensuring they leave the right legacy –  that they’re comfortable, well cared for and a welcome addition wherever they call home.

How we can help

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.