Landlords blind to the benefits of pets: Ray Ellis

Ray EllisAugust 11, 20150 min read

GUEST OBSERVATION

With record low rental yields nationally, property investors should open their eyes to the benefits of renting their investment properties to tenants with pets that have good references.
 
Capital growth has far outpaced rental growth nationally and this has forced yields to record lows. 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, the chances of getting their vacant property leased quickly grows exponentially.
 
The Petcare Information Advisory Service (PIAS) indicates 66 per cent of Australian families have pets so the majority of our 23.13 million population values pet ownership. Yet just 2.1 million families or 9 per cent of the population are able to rent properties with their pet.
 
The challenge of finding rental properties where landlords will consider pets leads to some 65,000 pets being surrendered to the RSPCA on an annual basis. Unfortunately only some 22% of animals surrendered are able to be re-homed.
 
Because tenants understand how difficult it can be to rent a property with their pet, many are prepared to discuss the amount of rent they’ll pay. They often have references from previous real estate agents and landlords that make their application more attractive.
 
Property Managers can take additional steps to protect a landlord’s interests such as adding specific clauses to the lease, requiring annual steam cleaning of carpets, and in some states, negotiating a pet bond. Good tenants understand these are realistic trade-offs that help their landlord to feel more confident about their intentions.
 
On any given day, about 5.7% of First National Real Estate’s vacant rental properties are available through the network’s Pet Friendly Rental Search feature, with the most Pet Friendly states being Queensland and Tasmania – equally offering 12.5% of vacancies as Pet Friendly. The network assisted Dr Emma Power’s University of Western Sydney 2013 research – Renting with Pets in Sydney – and has cooperated with the PIAS in the creation of educational booklets and the promotion of socially responsible pet ownership. It encourages landlords to discuss their concerns with Property Managers and weigh the merits of all applications.

RAY ELLIS is First National Real Estate's chief executive.

Ray Ellis

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Rental Property
Investment Propert
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