The Benefits of Pet-Friendly Property Investments
If you haven’t looked into the benefits of having a pet-friendly property, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s not a good idea. I mean, a pet will likely cause damage to your property, right? And end up costing you a tonne money long-term? Apparently not.
It may surprise you to learn that a huge 63% of Australian households own a pet, yet less than 10% of rental properties are listed as pet-friendly. If you’re a property investor, this presents a very interesting opportunity and in the process you’ll do something great for animal welfare – there’s currently an alarming rate of pet abandonment because people simply can’t find a home that will welcome their pooch, kitty, birdie etc.
When you look further and consider the bottoming rental market we are experiencing during COVID-19, it makes even more sense to strike up that competitive rental edge as a Landlord by opening up your rental apartment to the tenant couple with little Sox.
So why should you invest in a pet-friendly property?
In the current market, pet-friendly properties are hot, dramatically increasing your prospective tenant pool. And that’s just the start of the benefits. Making your property pet-friendly can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Recent research points out that well-managed pet-friendly rentals can deliver better economic outcomes than those with a ‘pets-considered’ policy.
Pet owning tenants are generally willing to pay more rent.
In Australia, dog and cat owners are prepared to pay more for pet-friendly rental – often to the tune of seven to 14% more for their rental. In some parts of the world, you can ask for a pet bond/pet deposit, but this is only allowed in Western Australia, where you can ask for a $260 deposit.
Pet friendly properties rent faster
Vacancy rates nationwide have been driven by an oversupply of units, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. At the moment, more than ever, renters have the upper hand as properties are staying vacant for longer. With an abundance of pet-owners seeking rentals, this gives people with pet-friendly properties a little bit of hand back. The limited supply means your property may rent a lot faster and therefore reducing your vacancy period and in turn cashflow.
Responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants
Pet-owners have been found to be excellent long term tenants that abide by house rules. They know it can be difficult to find pet-friendly housing, so they don’t want to jeopardise a good thing. Many pet owners are caring people too, sharing a close bond with their animals. This often translates with taking great care of your property too, with many owners being house proud, keeping their homes and gardens beautiful.
Tenants with pets want to hold longer leases
Tenants with pets are likely to stay longer than non-pet owning tenants. It can be hard to find another suitable pet-friendly property, so they may be willing to sign up to a 2-year lease and stay even longer. This translates to savings for you – both time and money. You’ll save on ad spend and save time and hassle of interviewing new applicants.
No more problems with hidden pets
With such a limited number of pet-approved properties, it’s not surprising that people keep pets on the DL. Australian research indicates that for 11% of pet- owning tenants (mainly cat owners) live in places where their landlords or body corporate are unaware of their pets.
Reduce animal euthanasia
Along with all the financial benefits for you, there’s also an opportunity for you to feel warm and fuzzy too. Animal welfare agencies indicate that as many as 30% of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who are unable to locate adequate accommodation. Better animal welfare results, along with better outcomes for tenants and landlords, could be achieved by a pet-friendly approach to rental tenancies.
Buying a pet-friendly investment
If you’re in the market for an investment and you’re convinced a pet-friendly property is the way to go, here are some suburbs to look at in a few key markets.
On the Gold Coast, Sorrento, Southport, Merrimac, Broadbeach Waters, Benowa and Labrador are great locations. These more established suburbs have bigger blocks and are closer to dog parks. An hour north in Brisbane, you’ll find most pet owners in the outer western suburbs.
In Melbourne, the most pet-friendly suburbs are Tarneit, Cranbourne North, Point Cook, Wyndham Vale, and Mernda with most listings accepting pets.
In Sydney, the western suburbs, Hills District and the Marcathur-Camden area are currently the most pet friendly.
Wherever you choose to buy, just make sure you’re aware of all your rights as a landlord and the tenants’ rights, which have recently changed across nearly every state. And remember to give yourself a big pat on the back for helping protect animals right across the country.