New Zealanders love their pets. So much so a 2007 survey found we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. And that means there’s a lot of prospective tenants out there in need of a pet-friendly home.
The thing that most investors don’t realise is the benefits of allowing pets in your property may outweigh the negatives. Here a few examples:
You’ll widen your rental pool
With thousands of pet owners looking for a place to rent, shutting the door on those with pets limits your potential pool of tenants, including those who may wish to get a pet in the future.
You’ll attract renters who may otherwise buy
Not being able to find pet-friendly homes is one of the most cited reasons renters turn to buying. The freedom to have pets and not worry about finding suitable accommodation for the whole family can turn a lot of happy renters towards buying their own home sooner. After all, no one wants to lose a member of the family.
You’ll have loyal tenants
Most tenants will ensure their pets are well-behaved knowing how hard it is to find another pet-friendly property and you’ll have more loyal tenants for the same reason. Knowing the majority of rental properties are not pet-friendly means you’ll have an advantage on the competition and will more than likely have tenants who will stay long-term.
Ask your prospective tenant if they wouldn’t mind supplying a reference for their pet. A reference could include a detailed description of the pet’s size and nature, and include a reference from a third-party – such as their vet. A reference from a previous landlord, where the tenant previously lived with the pet would also be useful.
Spell it out
Your best protection will make making sure you and your pet-owning tenant are clear and agree on any conditions around the pet. These should be written into the tenancy agreement. The agreement should clearly spell out the number and type of pets, or the specific pets, that have been agreed on. Some agreements also state what needs to happen if a replacement pet is wanted. And remember a tenant is responsible for any damage they cause either intentionally or carelessly. This includes any damage done by pets.
Landlords with unit title or cross lease properties should check the conditions of their body corporate rules or leases to see what restrictions there may be on keeping animals. Source Harcourts NZ