Should I make my investment property dog-friendly? The pros & cons

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4 min readAs much as bringing a four-legged friend to a rental is most investor’s nightmare, dog-friendly properties are a smart investment and one that’s rapidly becoming the norm.

There’s no denying that Australians have a love affair with their pets. And why shouldn’t we? In fact, more than 63% of Australian households include a pet and new research shows that owning a dog can help you live longer, making man’s best friend a vital part of our families, lifestyle and homes.

Thanks to recent changes to Victorian rental laws, dogs are set to get off the leash and be put on the lease, limiting a landlord’s ability to refuse pets. One can only hope the rest of the country catches on soon too. The new law means landlords now have to give reasons for refusing pets, shining a light on the fact that retaining a pet makes a huge difference towards tenants feeling comfortable, secure and happy in a rented home.

Dog-friendly rental properties are in high demand and it’s a trend that any landlord should consider if they want to open their doors to more tenants and better investment opportunities.

Unfortunately though, there’s still an extreme shortage of pet-friendly rentals where pet owners struggle to find housing. Is making your investment property dog-friendly worth it? Here are the pros and cons to weigh up before you decide.

Big benefits for the owner & the renter

Dog-friendly rentals can be a competitive advantage for landlords willing to introduce a pet-considered policy. Not only is there a larger pool of tenants to choose from, but those that are refused rentals because of their four-legged friend will be eager to impress. Dog owners tend to be written off as bad tenants, but they can make great tenants with big benefits for both parties. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Longer leases meaning landlords can reduce advertising and vacancy costs, and take the hassle out of finding new tenants. Tenants generally want to find a home where they can stay for the long run too, as moving frequently can be disruptive to their four-legged friend.
  • Pet owners can be willing to pay more in rent or bond to secure a pet-friendly home.
  • More pet-friendly rentals would help reduce the number of animals being unnecessarily surrendered to shelters, with many tenants being forced to do so as they struggle to get into the competitive rental market.
  • Dog-friendly properties rent faster and get more enquiries so property managers can be extra selective in choosing the right tenants.
  • Responsible pet owners make excellent tenants! They understand how hard it is to find a suitable home, so they’re more likely to go out of their way to abide by the rules to avoid having to search for a new place and move again.

 7 Bickell Road, Mosman, NSW 7 Bickell Road, Mosman, NSW

The cons of dog-friendly investment properties

If you put yourself in a landlord’s shoes, it’s easy to see why many don’t favour the presence of pets in their investment property. It’s not about disliking animals, but the risks to the property itself that comes along with allowing pets as tenants. There’s the potential damage from pets chewing, scratching, clawing or digging to consider, nasty smells and stains, and increased insurance costs. Barking dogs are frustrating for neighbours too, with the possibility of noise complaints from nearby residents.

It’s not all bad news though. Many of the risks associated with dog-friendly rentals can be minimised by pet owners taking action and landlords implementing the right measures to better protect their properties.

When selecting a tenant, it’s crucial they have a well-trained dog to avoid any issues down the track. Tenants can increase their chances of securing a rental property considerably if Fido is well behaved. There are many services that can help out pups with digging, barking and other behavioural problems renters should consider.

Landlords can make small but effective changes to their investment properties to better cater for tenants with pets. Keeping courtyards secure with fencing, adding secure screens or replacing carpet with tiles or laminate flooring in the main living areas can go a long way to protecting the property and keeping pet owners happy too. Setting clear guidelines in your lease for what will happen if the dog is excessively noisy, dangerous or causes damage is also important. You can also meet with the pet and tenant prior to signing a lease, to gauge whether or not they’re suitable.

Does your pooch hit the mark? Get pre-approved with a pet resume.

The introduction of pet resumes can make it easier for tenants to secure a dog-friendly rental property and landlords to protect their investment properties. Pet resumes are designed so dogs can make a good impression and can turn pet-intolerant landlords into pet-friendly ones. It also gives tenants a competitive advantage, proving they’re serious about the rental application and finding the perfect dog-friendly rental.

Investing in a pet-friendly rental can provide great advantages to landlords. Don’t just write off dog owners in fear that your hard-earned investment is going to be destroyed. With most Aussie households including pets, and pet-friendly rentals in such short supply, the right changes to a lease agreement and precautions can open up your pool of potential tenants significantly.

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Jayde Walker (Ferguson)
This article has been hand crafted by lifestyle contributor Jayde Ferguson, Jayde is a freelance writer with a passion for outdoor living and entertaining. With a love for design and all things unique, Jayde provides the Homely team with the most up to date changes in property styling trends.

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