Landlords ignoring pet-owning tenants missing out on charging higher rents

Further evidence shows there is a large number of prospective tenants surrendering pets in order to appease landlords, according to one investment club.

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The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) reported that 30 per cent of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who cannot find accommodation that allows pets, as reported on previously.

Following this, Property Club have revealed their own research, citing that 25 per cent, or one in four, of all landlords excluded applicants with pets.

These pets are reluctantly surrendered, with possible euthanasia consequences, because many landlords take a hard line against pets which Property Club does not endorse,” said Troy Gunasekera, national spokesperson for Property Club.

Mr Gunasekera said that landlords overlooking these potential tenants are ignoring the fact that data collected by Roy Morgan Research indicates 50 per cent of Australians live with cats and/or dogs, a higher percentage than households with at least one child under 16 years of age, at 35 per cent.


“That is why Property Club encourages its members not to exclude pets when considering an application from a prospective tenant with a pet. If they do so, they could potentially be excluding up to half of all potential tenants,” Mr Gunasekera said.

“Pets are becoming more important in the rental market because more people are choosing to live alone and many of these people are choosing to have pets as companions.

In addition, our ageing population means that older people who live alone gravitate to having a pet for companionship.”

Mr Gunasekera said that by considering pets, landlords can increase the chance of securing a tenant, as well as securing a higher rent.

“Many landlords, however, do not understand that special safeguards can be put in place if the tenant has a pet. For example, a special pet bond can be written into the rental contract which will ensure that the landlord is compensated if the pet does any damage to the property, he explained.

“Pet bonds also place a responsibility on the tenant to make sure the pet is well-behaved by imposing a financial penalty. Pet bonds are now becoming more common in the rental market, and they ensure that a reliable person with a pet can lease a property with this special safeguard in place.

“Landlords’ protection insurance can also protect them from damage caused by a pet, but they will need to check if that is included in their insurance cover.”

Mr Gunasekera added that landlords can also increase the number of property inspections for tenants with pets.

“It is a reality that pets are becoming an inescapable part of the rental property market in Australia, and it is an issue that landlords will have to address in the future if they want to achieve a higher rate of return from their investment property,” he said.

“If landlords take a more pragmatic approach to pets, then they are in a stronger position to finding a quality tenant while at the same [ensure] that tenants are not forced to euthanise their pets.”

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