Land­lords and pets – time to dis­cuss?

Whitsunday Times - - REAL ESTATE - Pro­vided by REIQ

PROP­ERTY is a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and rep­re­sents an enor­mous amount of cap­i­tal for most in­vestor own­ers, which is why they are highly mo­ti­vated to pro­tect that in­vest­ment by ban­ning pets.

The ques­tion of al­low­ing pets in a rental prop­erty, whether it’s a de­tached house, town­house, or an apart­ment, is one that most land­lords don’t dwell on, with the vast ma­jor­ity ban­ning pets.

Dogs and cats can dam­age a prop­erty, and the risk is that they leave a de­tectable odour in soft fur­nish­ings such as cur­tains and car­pets, that is dif­fi­cult to get rid of.

While the rental mar­ket in the south­east cor­ner of the state is classed by the REIQ as tight, ar­eas such as Mackay and Whit­sun­day, where the im­pact from the re­sources down­turn is still be­ing felt, are re­port­ing va­cancy rates of around 9%

Lo­cal agents are re­port­ing to the REIQ that due to the un­cer­tainty around em­ploy­ment

It’s pos­si­ble that by al­low­ing pets a land­lord may at­tract a more loyal, long-term ten­ant

ten­ants are only tak­ing short leases of three to six months, re­fus­ing to lock them­selves into rental com­mit­ments for any longer in case the work dries up and they are forced to move on.

This shift means that ten­ants are able to ne­go­ti­ate more strongly with land­lords about the con­di­tions of their ten­ancy. And per­haps now is a good time for land­lords to con­sider the op­tion of al­low­ing pets in their prop­er­ties.

There is data to sug­gest that more than 63% of Aus­tralian house­holds own a pet and about 53% own a dog or a cat. The Pet In­for­ma­tion Ad­vi­sory Ser­vice, an or­gan­i­sa­tion fo­cused on sup­port­ing so­cially re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship, says only about 10% of Queens­land rental prop­er­ties al­low pets. This means there is a sig­nif­i­cantly large per­cent­age of house­holds ei­ther ex­cluded from pet own­er­ship by virtue of the fact that they rent, or who are locked out of the vast ma­jor­ity of rental prop­er­ties avail­able.

This is an op­por­tu­nity for land­lords to cre­ate a unique sell­ing propo­si­tion and, by al­low­ing pets, un­lock a large sec­tion of po­ten­tial ten­ants.

A proac­tive prop­erty man­ager will be able to mon­i­tor pet im­pact on a prop­erty and will of­fer mit­i­ga­tion tips to ten­ants as con­di­tion of rental, to help limit risk of dam­age. And it’s pos­si­ble that by al­low­ing pets a land­lord may at­tract a more loyal, long-term ten­ant.

Those house­holds with pets are likely to move less of­ten and, due to the fact that there are fewer prop­er­ties that al­low pets, be less likely to break leases to move within a town. There is also some sug­ges­tion that peo­ple with pets are open to pay­ing higher rental amounts, of­fer­ing some com­pelling rea­sons for land­lords to re­con­sider their pet po­si­tion.

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