Pets – should you allow them?

By webmaster

A pet-friendly property can open up a raft of opportunities for a savvy investor, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks involved

As a landlord, two of your most important goals are attracting tenants and keeping your property in good condition.

If you decide to allow tenants to have pets, this might help you achieve one of those goals, but would it hinder your ability to achieve the other?

Is allowing pets a smart decision or not? Here are a few points every landlord should take into account before deciding to rent out a pet-friendly investment property.

What’s in it for me? The greatest benefit of adopting a pet-friendly policy is an immediate increase in your prospective tenant pool.

If you own an inner city apartment or suburban home in an area which has traditionally had a no pet policy, you will gain an immediate advantage over your competitors without having to lower your asking price.

Most pet owners see their furry companions as part of the family and this can be great news for savvy landlords.

A pet-owning tenant is likely to feel extremely comfortable in a pet-friendly property. This means they will be less likely to leave, ensuring you continue to enjoy a steady rental income.

You will also find it easier to increase your rent when needed as you are offering something that very few landlords offer – and something that pet-owning tenants will be willing to pay that little bit extra for.

What are the dangers? The first question that springs to a landlord’s mind, of course, concerns how much damage the property is likely to suffer from claws, teeth etc

If you are unsure about allowing a pet onto your property, why not take the time to meet your new tenant and their furry friend.

Arrange a time that suits both you and your tenant and inspect how the new addition to the property interacts with its surroundings.

If you have questions or doubts, negotiating a ‘trial’ period can be a great way to see how the pet might affect your property, while minimising any potential damage.

During the trial period, be sure to inspect both the inside and outside of the home, including checking for any odours.

There are without doubt problems that can arise from allowing pets into your property; however, depending on the specific situation, the benefits can also very easily outweigh the disadvantages.

Smart spending

Smartening up your spending activity needn’t be a hassle if you follow a few simple savings strategies

With interest rates now at their lowest level since April 2010, it may be tempting to spend your extra cash. However, failing to look to the future can cost you over the longer term.

Both in Australia and overseas, economic uncertainty remains at very high levels.

Very few financial commentators are willing to predict which way interest rates will move next – let alone predict how the banks will react to any changes.

In this sort of environment, the word ‘budget’ should be front of mind for every Australian household.

Here are a few simple strategies to ensure you keep your spending in check.

Counting the costs The only way to rein in your finances is to know exactly where you are spending your hard-earned cash.

Take some time to map out what percentage of your income is spent on leisurely and ‘impulse’ spending and compare this with your essential costs.

This simple exercise will allow you to calculate how much of your income is going to waste, making it easier to adjust accordingly.

Weekly allowance With a greater understanding of where your money is going, you are now in a better position to set yourself a weekly allowance.

This allowance should be spent purely on life’s pleasures and be considered as your ‘disposable income’.

Be sure to keep track of where your money is going and resist the temptation to go above and beyond your allowance.

Start a piggy bank It may sound obvious, but saving is the best way to improve your financial position.

One way to do this is to set up a high interest savings account and create direct debit payments that operate on a monthly basis.

How much you choose to save is totally up to you, but 10 per cent of your salary is considered a good place to start. You will hardly notice any change in your financial situation, but you will find yourself getting into the savings groove.

Cut the credit Ditching the credit card is the most effective way to drive down your debt.

Credit cards typically involve a higher interest rate and can cost you thousands annually.

If it is a pricy item that you are looking to buy, be patient and save.

While it may take a little longer to acquire the necessary funds, the money you will save in interest repayments will certainly be worth the wait.

Increase your mortgage repayments Upping your monthly mortgage repayments can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Moreover, the more cash you put towards your home, the faster you’ll be able to unlock equity to use for other projects or investments.

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