Millions of families have pets, but when it comes to renting with pets, finding a place to live can sometimes be tricky. Finding a pet-friendly property takes a bit more time, organisation, persuading skills and also limits your options. So for all the pet lovers out there, here are our top tips for renting with pets.
Top tips for renting with pets
Talk to your landlord
It’s an obvious thing to do, but many renters don’t do it – especially when a property listing says “no pets allowed”. However, previous surveys revealed that tenants who broached the topic of pets with their landlords were much more likely to get a favourable outcome. So, don’t be discouraged: Ask the question, but remember to respect the answer.
Offer more rent
Pet-phobic landlords and property managers are also more likely to relent on their restrictions when tenants offer to pay more rent. So, if you have a few spare dollars and are willing to pay above the listed rent to guarantee a home for your pets, then make that clear to your property manager. It could be the difference between a yes and a no.
Prepare pet references
It’s not unreasonable for a landlord to seek assurances that every inhabitant of their property will treat it with due care. And while we can’t have pets sign on the dotted line, we can provide details and context about our pets. That way a property manager feels confident about letting them move in. Create a pet reference that includes the pet’s age, temperament and vaccinations history, and attach a recent photograph. You may also want to include character references from a previous property manager, vet or anyone who can credibly speak to your pet’s behaviour.
Keep thorough records
Retain vaccination certificates, vet receipts and other pet paperwork, so that you can easily produce them if required. It’s also worth regularly sharing these with your property manager, to give them peace of mind about your pet’s health and status. Making the effort will remind them you are a caring tenant and pet owner.
Have a trial period
If your landlord or property manager is not fully convinced, ask if they would be willing to lease the property to you on a trial basis. They can see how your pet is doing in the property, and you can make adjustments to the lease as required.
Get agreements in writing
If you agree to pay a little more to have your pet, or are trialling it out for a short period, get these agreed terms in writing. If there is any confusion or disputes down the track, everyone can defer to those documents. You can also draw up a separate pet agreement outlining all terms and your responsibilities.
Commit to clean
Offer to remove all traces of your pet’s presence when you leave. While you are already obligated to clean a property when you depart, providing further commitments to deep clean carpets, treat for fleas and deodorise might be enough to get your pet over the threshold. Finally, remember that it’s not always the landlord’s decision. Legal and communal laws may prohibit or restrict animals on a property, even if the landlord gives their blessings.