For most pet owners, their furry friends are part of the family. As a rental property owner, it’s your choice whether or not to allow pets (and, ultimately, up to the strata scheme), but there are some great benefits to allowing this. The reality is that most pet owners are responsible people who just want a nice place to live. Families, elderly people and younger people all have pets, so if you don’t offer a pet-friendly rental property, you’re potentially missing out on some great tenants.
This article will look at why you should have a pet-friendly rental and how to make it happen.
Why should you make your rental property pet friendly?
As we said, most pet owners are responsible people. Sure, the risk of a toilet accident in the house increases, but how many pet owners would just leave it? The majority of pet owners clean up after their animals, meaning that, realistically, there’s no more damage to the property than anybody could cause by spilling a drink.
The panic around a family pet destroying the house is, for the most part, unfounded. Having said that, you should always screen pets as well as tenants. Some animals can be destructive, and you obviously want to avoid that. At times, people with pets can actually be better tenants. Simply having a pet to care for is motivation enough to look after the property so they can stay as long as they need to.
From a purely financial view, if you allow pets, you can potentially charge more rent because the demand for pet-friendly properties is higher. If you have concerns about the impact pets may have on your rental property, there are a few things you can do to make it more pet friendly.
Keeping a pet in a strata scheme
1. Pet-friendly flooring
It’s true that pets can cause a little damage to flooring, particularly by scratching hardwood floors with their claws or having unwanted toilet accidents on the carpet. The issue is that you may be subject to by-laws preventing you from changing the flooring. If you don’t have the ability to change the flooring in your rental apartment, look for other ways to make it pet-friendly.
One option to consider is the use of rugs or carpet runners to help prevent scratches. As far as toilet accidents go, these often occur near a door because a pet is trying to do the right thing and go outside. So, make these spaces an area of focus. Pet stores have plenty of options to consider.
2. Check the doors
If you’ve ever seen a dog when they’re excited to go for a walk, you’ll know they can sometimes scratch the doors in anticipation. Consider installing some kind of kickplate or hard plastic cover to the lower part of your doors, as long as they can be easily removed and don’t damage the door in any way, as the front door in strata units is considered part of common property that you can’t change.
If door scratches become a major issue, you may want to create a barrier between the living area and the doorway. You can buy extendable child safety gates that require no installation to walls. These can be an effective way to stop your excited pooch from scratching at the doors when they hear you arriving home.
3. Secure the property
If you’re in a strata unit, you probably only have a small balcony or terrace to worry about. Still, for safety reasons you need to make sure those spaces are pet-friendly. It isn’t too difficult in that type of environment, but you just need to ensure your pets can’t get through balcony fencing. If you’re in a townhouse or a property with a more spacious outdoor area, you’ll need to block any escape points and also ensure your pets don’t impact your neighbours.
Protecting yourself as the property owner
If you’re a strata rental property owner and you want to allow pets, there are plenty of ways to safeguard yourself. You can add clauses to the rental agreement outlining all of the pet rules your tenants should follow. When doing this, consider other tenants in the strata environment, too, using clauses to state that the animal must be on a lead and owners need to clean up after their pets.
Depending on the by-laws for your building, there may be other rules your tenant will need to abide by. If you’re unsure how to proceed, speak to the friendly team at More Than Strata today. We’re happy to help make your strata rental property suitable for all tenants, furry and otherwise.