As a pet owner and renter no doubt you’ve experienced the struggles of finding a place to live for you and your furry friend.
From the endless No Pets Allowed clauses in rental ads to the strict conditions when you do find a suitable home, it can be a real challenge.
If you’re a renter and have to move again soon, you won’t have to make the heartbreaking decision to re-home your pet if you can’t find a place for both of you.
It turns out, there are many ways you can find a rental property that will allow you to keep your pet.
With some negotiation and discussion, it’s not as hard as it seems.
Here are some tips on how to find a rental property with your pet.
1. Always ask
Even if a property is listed as not allowing pets, it doesn’t hurt to ask the question – as long you can respect the answer! A realestate.com.au report revealed tenants who asked and made an extra effort were more likely to get the outcome they want for them and their pet. Remember, just because it says no – doesn’t mean they landlord won’t be open to the idea.
2. Keep a pet reference
Just like going for a job interview, when renting with a pet you should have a little resume put together for your furry friend. Your pet might not be able to sign on as tenant, but giving details about your pet can make a property manager or landlord more relaxed about renting to you. In your pet’s resume you should include their age, if they’re microchipped, desexed, registered and vaccinated, their temperament and some character references from previous property managers or a vet. As part of this you should also remember to keep up-to-date health and care records for your pet to provide as evidence.
3. Choose carefully for you AND your pet
Would you really move a big, active dog into a tiny one-bedroom unit? It’s important when you’re looking for a rental property with your pet to consider the home from their point of view as well. Choosing a property more suitable for your pet will increase the chances of you finding somewhere to live. If you’re already renting and want a pet, you should think carefully about whether the pet you want will be suitable for the home you live in.
4. Offer to pay extra rent and a pet bond
Offering more rent to allow you to keep your furry friend can make you more attractive as a tenant and will make it easier for you to come to a compromise with your property manager or landlord. If you can spare extra each week, even if it’s $10 or $20, it could help sweeten the deal. Another option if your landlord had concerns about your pet damaging the property is to offer a pet bond. That way if something does happen, your landlord will have some financial security.
5. Consider a trial period
Asking for a trial period can also work to sway the mind of a challenging landlord or property manager. If they’re open to a trial period for a few months, it’ll give you an opportunity to prove your pet is doing well in the property and you can negotiate adjustments to the lease and any other agreements. If you landlord has concerns about your pet damaging the property, why not offer a pet bond? Should your pet do anything destructive, your landlord will be financially compensated through the pet bond.
6. Commit to extra cleaning
To reassure your property manager or landlord, you can offer to remove every trace of your pet’s presence when moving. Though you’re obligated to clean when vacating a rental property anyway, offering to spray the property for fleas, deodorising the home and deep cleaning the carpets can make you more appealing as a pet-owning tenant.
7. Sign a pet agreement
So you’ve been approved for a rental property with your pet. The final step is to sign a pet agreement in writing. Whether you agreed to pay extra to keep your pet or you’re on trial period with your pet, you should have the agreed terms put in writing – according to real estate experts. Should any issues arise, you’ll have the Pet Agreement on hand to sort any problems out.