THE tide is turning for renters with pets. To be competitive in the rental property market, more owners of apartment complexes are catering specifi cally to tenants who have pets.
Property owners are recognising the marketing potential and also that responsible pet owners make good tenants.
Apartment buildings in the US lead the way by offering pet washing and grooming stations, outdoor and indoor dog runs, agility courses, rooftop dog walks and pet trainers to work with tenants.
Some hold pet events or “yappy hours”, providing valuable opportunities for owners and pets to socialise.
Others have pet decks with artifi cial turf and sprinkler systems which clean and sanitise the area. The rental industry in Australia has been slower to adapt to the trend, however, legislative advances are being made to better accommodate the large number of people whose pets are important to them.
In urban settings particularly, this means proactively planning to support the rights of tenants to keep pets, where tenants can responsibly meet the needs of their animals and their neighbours.
Pet- friendly legislation in NSW sees reforms to strata laws, with bylaws set to change from a default position that says pets aren’t allowed unless the owners corporation decides otherwise, to ones where pets are permitted, subject to whatever conditions the owners corporation might set. As part of the consultation process, the NSW government received a large number of submissions on strata reform expressing the view that pet ownership is unreasonably restricted in many strata schemes.
Most of Sydney’s new developments are now designed to be pet- friendly – a relief for many given our country’s highest incidence of pet ownership per household in the world.
It’s especially good news for owner- occupiers, baby boomers and empty- nesters, many of whom choose apartment living and want to keep their pets.
It means fewer people are separated from their companion animals due to blanket no- pet rules and fewer animals are surrendered to animal shelters or rescue groups.