It is natural for landlords to ask themselves “should I allow pets in my rental property?”. Landlords can be cautious about allowing pets into a rental property due to prior experiences, stories they’ve heard about, or simply concerns over what damage could occur to the property. There can be negatives to allowing pets, such as the risk of damage to the property, however there are also positives to finding tenants with pets, as owning a pet is a responsibility and can indicate a certain level of maturity.
As a landlord, if you do decide that you don’t want to allow pets in your rental property, this needs to be incorporated in pre-tenancy marketing to avoid any confusion by prospective tenants. Should you decide to allow a pet in your rental property, a pet agreement with some definite guidelines should be placed at the start of the tenancy and written as additional terms of the tenancy agreement to create a firm and clear understanding of the consent that you have granted. Both the landlord and tenant should sign this pet agreement.
As part of the tenants reference check, it is essential to confirm if the pet has lived in past tenancies and if so, whether the pet created a disturbance, nuisance or damage during that previous tenancy. You should also find out the number and type of pets. Some insurers actually require pets to be named and described on the lease agreement, so it’s important to keep details of pets on your pet agreement. Include any specific guidelines regarding whether the pet will remain outdoors at all times or will be allowed indoors under certain circumstances. In addition to terms such as the tenant fumigating the property and steam-cleaning the carpets at the end of the tenancy, restriction of the number and type of pets should be written into the agreement.
Whether or not you allow pets, you should organise landlord insurance for your investment property. If you are allowing pets in your rental property ensure that your landlord insurance does cover damage caused by domestic pets. A good property manager will also also be conducting regular property inspections throughout the tenancy.
By stipulating clear guidelines at the beginning of the tenancy, it is possible to have a harmonious pet friendly tenancy and in fact it may mean that good tenants stay longer in the property.
It’s important to note that In October 2017 Premier Daniel Andrews announced proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. These proposed changes give renters the right to own pets provided they obtain the landlord’s written consent first. Landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse a request for consent. According to the governments website Rent Fair Victoria The reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament in 2018, and if passed, these reforms would be implemented in 2019.
If you have any further questions about pets and rental properties, please contact our property manager Kellie Papworth on 5261 4711
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