Pet-friendly homes sought
Landlords are being urged to open their eyes and rental properties to pet owners to help stop animal abandonment and improve their own bottom line.
As a further incentive, Animal Welfare League Australia is running a competition to find Australia’s most pet-friendly landlord.
Saving Animals from Euthanasia founder Sue Hedley said the transient nature of Pilbara towns exacerbated the problem of owners having to abandon their pets to put a roof over their family’s heads.
“We see a range of behaviour in relinquished pets, from fitting in quickly to foster care to showing signs of trauma from being taken from a long-term home and moved to a different location,” she said.
“When industry changes, suddenly people are left without (work-provided) accommodation.
“It is often such a big upheaval for families with children that pets often don’t rate highly in the move.
“This is why fostering is ideal for people who are here for contracts with uncertain futures.
“They can have the joy of a pet during their stay and help save lives at the same time.”
Ms Hedley said many landlords had experienced “far worse” house damage caused by adults and children than by the average dog or cat.
First National Real Estate Karratha business development manager Meegan Moses said around 65,000 pets were surrendered to the RSPCA annually in Australia because of difficulties finding rental properties. Ms Moses said just 9 per cent of Australia’s population were able to rent properties with their pets.
“Capital growth has far outpaced rental growth nationally and this has forced yields to record lows,” she said.
“Yet many investors refuse to consider applications from tenants with pets, despite research that shows some are willing to pay slightly more rent and that they tend to stay longer.
“The reality is that when landlords agree to flag their rental property as pet-friendly with First National Real Estate Karratha, the chances of getting their vacant property leased quickly grows exponentially.”
Ms Moses said property managers could take steps to protect a landlord’s interest such as adding clauses to the lease, requiring extra cleaning, or payment of pet bonds.
Meegan Moses from First National Real Estate Karratha with dogs Narla and Diego, and Saving Animals From Euthanasia founder Sue Hedley.