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Dog owners may make ‘better tenants’

By Staff Reporter
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Despite some investors’ hesitancy to accept tenancy applications from pet owners, one real estate head has contended they may be a better alternative to other applicants.

Geoff Baldwin, managing director of RE/MAX WA, said too often landlords place a blanket ban on their property managers accepting applications from tenants with dogs.

“The general feeling is that a dog may in some way damage the property, however… I have found this to be far from the truth and, in many ways, quite the opposite applies,” he said.

“Considering, or even welcoming applications from dog owners, has two major advantages for the landlord, in that these tenants will usually pay a premium rent and they are much less likely to move because it’s harder for them to find another pet-friendly owner.”

Mr Baldwin said many investors would be surprised by the statistics around who actually damages properties.

“Although it may sound brutal, often the facts are that more damage can be done by young children than by a dog, however, no-one would consider banning families with children from applying for their rental property.”

Mr Baldwin said investors considering opening up their potential-tenant pool to include pet owners should investigate “the size of the dog, whether or not it is a breed that sheds fur, its age, whether it’s an inside or outside dog and any other information that can be gleaned before making a decision”.

There is also the option of speaking to previous landlords and requesting an additional pet bond, he said.

Mr Baldwin said with more investors in the market, landlords need to consider how they can attract and retain good tenants.

“In a more competitive rental market, as is predicted for 2015, owners should be looking at ways to make their property more attractive, and actually inviting tenants with dogs to apply is a huge point of difference.” 

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