Pets…. Aussies love them. The RSPCA estimates that 63% of households have a furry, feathered or scaly family member. But how difficult is renting a home when you own a pet?
Chances are, many landlord clients have them too. But when it comes to allowing pets into their investment properties, many property owners say no to pets out of concern. The main areas of concern are odours, noise, litigation and damage, which are fair reasons to reject a pet.
As a result, we often see a shortage of pet-friendly rental properties.
The upside to considering pets
The upside is a whole pool of potential tenants looking for a place to call home with their fur babies. By allowing pets with suitable references, the potential tenant pool immediately increases and makes the home more in demand, with the flow-on effect of shorter vacancy periods and tenants who generally settle in for longer.
People with pets understand that securing a rental is more difficult and they are often willing to comply with a few extra conditions to ease the property owner's concerns.
If you are thinking about going "pet friendly", we can help protect the investment by adding clauses to the rental agreement such as:
- A specific pet agreement that details how the renter and their pets will respect the property, what to do if there is a problem with the pets and what will happen if the pets damage the property;
- The requirement for professional pest management after the tenant and pet vacate the premises;
- References from previous property owners and/or personal references that indicate the tenant is a responsible pet owner with no concerns of pet damage;
- Proof of the pet’s council registration;
- Details and description of the pet (to avoid unapproved replacements)
Property owners are not unjustified with the fear of allowing pets because there have been many incidents where the owner is left paying to repair significant damage exceeding the bond held. It’s a fear compounded by the fact that most landlord insurers do not cover pet damage.
Adequate insurance to give you peace of mind
The good news for investors is that there is landlord insurance available on the market that will cover pet-related damage. EBM Rent Cover, have recently updated their policy to now automatically provide policyholders with up to $65,000 to cover pet damage in all new policies issued from 1 February and in all renewals from 1 April. And unlike other insurers, they do not need the pet to be named on the lease, it just needs to be owned by the tenant.
The only other requirement is that the landlord/Property Manager inspects the property within six months of the initial lease and at least annually after that. Our office conducts inspections every 3-6 months which is more than adequate to comply. The conditions are far from onerous for a cover that could make the decision to go pet-friendly an easier one.
If you are interested to know more, contact us on 03 63344433 or EBM insurance on 1800 661 662.