Renting with pets
Finding a rental property that accepts pets can sometimes be a challenge. Each state and territory will have different laws which affect renting with pets in both detached homes and strata properties, so it’s important to look up the rules in your jurisdiction.
The Tenants’ Union in each state will be able to assist you with specific information. We’ve summarised the key points to keep in mind when renting with pets as well as some tips for securing pet-friendly properties.
How to find a pet-friendly rental
Using real estate websites is the quickest and easiest way to find pet-friendly rental properties as they often have a ‘pets allowed’ checkbox in the search function. Although this will often result in a large reduction of available properties, it does mean that the properties which remain are genuinely pet-friendly.
Many properties may not specifically list ‘pets allowed’ but will still consider applicants with pets, so it’s still worth inquiring after a property if you’re really set on it. Don’t forget to use other websites like online classified sites and social media to look for a pet-friendly rental, as often landlords looking to rent privately will use these sites instead of real estate websites. Private rentals offer a chance for potential tenants to negotiate directly with landlords, which can be helpful for tenants with pets.
Applying for rental properties
Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in renting, the next step is to formally apply for the property. In tight or competitive rental markets, owning pets can make your application seem less desirable to some real estate agents and landlords. Many pet-friendly rentals will also stipulate the ‘type’ of pet they’re willing to take, with stipulations generally revolving around the size of the animal.
Cats and small dogs are more likely to be accepted than large breed dogs and non-traditional pets. However, these barriers can often be overcome.
When applying for properties with pets, it’s strongly advised to include a ‘pet resume’ for each pet. In this document, include the age of the pet, breed, sex, whether they are desexed or not, microchip number, council registration number and a little information about the pet.
You can even ask your local veterinary clinic who is familiar with you and your pet to act as a ‘reference’ for your pet care. The point of a ‘pet resume’ is to show you are a committed and responsible pet owner. Pet resumes can be used to reassure potential real estate agents and landlords that you will take responsibility for your pets, as most landlords are concerned about any potential damage your pet might incur on the property. If you have a history of renting with pets, include this as well, as it will show that you and your pets are responsible tenants.
Leaving your rental property
If your pet does damage the property or grounds during your tenancy, ensure you fix the damage before you go. This will help you secure future pet-friendly rentals.
Additionally, most tenancy agreements will require you to hire pest control to fumigate the property after moving out, so it’s important to account for this cost when moving houses.