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Vets Call for More Pet Friendly Rental Properties

29 July 2014

AUSTRALIA - Being a pet owner looking for rental accommodation can be tough with many renters finding themselves left to choose between their ideal home and their pet.

The Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC) with support from ASAVA, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), has produced separate Tenants with Pets guidelines, one for tenants and the other for landlords and managing agents.

It’s hoped that these will encourage landlords to become more open-minded when it comes to renting properties to pet owners.

AVA and ACAC President, Dr Julia Nicholls, said that with over 60 per cent of households in Australia having pets and about a third of households renting, it doesn’t make sense for the majority of landlords and agents to have a ‘no pets’ policy on rental tenancies.

“Recent research has shown that a well-managed, pet-friendly rentals can be a competitive advantage for those willing to introduce a ‘pets considered’ policy.”

“There’s a huge imbalance between supply and demand for pet-friendly rental properties and we would like this to change,” she said.

“Pets are good for your health and reduce stress. People also tend to look after their pets as they look after other members of the family; they take care of their health and hygiene, exercise and entertainment, they clean up after them. In fact studies show that Australian pet owners are becoming more and more socially responsible in the care of their pets.”

Ten good reasons for landlords and managing agents to consider renting to a pet owner:

  • Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent.
  • Pet-friendly properties rent faster.
  • Responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants.
  • Tenants with pets want to hold longer leases.
  • Reduce your advertising spend as pet-friendly properties rent much faster.
  • No more problems with hidden pets.
  • Most Australians feel their pet is part of the family and care for them as such.
  • Reduce animal euthanasia; animal welfare agencies indicate that as many as 30% of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who are unable to locate adequate accommodation.
  • Even considering pets will not necessarily lock you into a pet-particular outcome.
  • Pet application and agreement forms are available to help landlords and managing agents implement a successful pet management policy and help tenants understand how to responsibly manage pets. Forms are available here.

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