Property investors know the key to making money is finding a niche and filling it. In this article TRACY KEAREY, the Director of Mortgage Advice Bureau, Brisbane, looks at how landlords can tap into the pet-friendly rental market and ensure their property is never vacant.

More than 60 per cent of Australian households have a pet these days, yet it’s reported only about 10 per cent of rental properties allow them.

In the past two years, several Australian States have introduced new pet-friendly rental laws restricting the ability of landlords to exclude tenants with fur babies.

Financially, it’s very smart for landlords to cater for tenants who have pets because surveys reveal that people who keep pets:

  •     Earn more money, on average, than those without.
  •     Are willing to pay 7-14 per cent more than standard renters.
  •     Often lock in longer leases, so can make more stable, responsible tenants.

To maximise rental yields, landlords should think about not just accepting pets, but actively chasing the fur dollar by making sure their property displays the signs of being pet-friendly.

Choose the right investment property

If you’re thinking about buying an investment property, consider outdoor space and access to dog parks. These will make your home more attractive and valuable to the pet owner market.

Install suitable floor coverings

Carpeting is not easy to maintain in any rental property, but particularly one with pets. So, replace carpet with tiles or laminate – it’s hard-wearing, easy to clean and non-absorbent.

Provide pet-friendly access

An outlay of a few hundred dollars by installing a dog or cat flap in a door displays a home is pet-friendly and helps limit potential damage from animals scratching at doors to be let in or out.

Audit the yard and plants

A secure, fully fenced garden is a huge selling point for people with pets (and children). And don’t forget to check your yard and garden for common plants that may be toxic to animals.

Be open to suggestions

Let your tenants know you are open to them installing pet-friendly additions, provided they get permission. Done correctly, these may add value for future tenants.

Keep it simple

Supplying useful equipment can make a big difference, particularly to maintaining your property. If you have a lawn you’d like looked after, make it simple by providing scoopers and even a doggy compost system.

Make sure your asset is covered

Do your homework and check if your landlord’s insurance covers you for any damage caused by pets. With more States passing pet-friendly rental laws, coverage for pet-related incidents is being offered as standard on some policies.

What’s the state of the State’s rental laws?

ACT: In 2019 pet-friendly tenancy laws were enacted, which meant landlords could not refuse tenants the right to keep pets unless they applied to a State Tribunal and demonstrated reasonable grounds, such as undue risk of injury or damage.

VIC: In March 2020 new laws came into effect allowing tenants to keep pets, unless the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upholds that the landlord has reasonable grounds for prohibiting them.

NT: In January this year the Territory adopted a similar system to Victoria and the ACT, with landlords needing to argue their case before a State Tribunal to refuse tenants the right to keep a pet.

NSW: In August 2021 the Government moved to prevent blanket bans on pets in apartment buildings. Instead, there are limited grounds – such as damage to common property, menacing behaviour, persistent noise, and odour – under which an individual apartment owner may be prevented from keeping pets. However, renters in both apartments and houses still face the obstacle of landlords. While existing laws don’t prevent pets, or require tenants to ask permission to keep them, landlords can, and often do, include a no-pets clause in lease agreements.

QLD: State Parliament this month passed amendments that require landlords to give “reasonable grounds” for refusing to allow a tenant to keep a pet. Landlords would be able to impose reasonable conditions on pet leases, including that a pet be kept outside, and the property fumigated, and carpets cleaned at the end of tenancy.

WA: Landlords can refuse pets without a reason. WA is the only State with a pet bond of $260 to cover fumigation costs.

SA: Tenants must ask permission and landlords can refuse pets without giving a reason.

 

If you need assistance with applying for a loan to purchase an investment property or would like to discuss refinancing a loan please give me a call on 0417 738 469.

Tracy Kearey is an award winning Finance and Mortgage Broker with 23 years’ experience. She has access to over 40+ lenders and offers her clients access to extensive range of loan products and services tailored to individual borrowing needs. If you need assistance with your lending needs you can send Tracy an email or give her a call on M: 0417 738 469. You might also like to connect with Tracy on Facebook

General Advice Warning: This blog is not designed to replace professional advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs before making any decision as to what is appropriate for you.

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Asset Protection How to Tap into the Pet-Friendly Rental Market