Pet Owners Looking to Rent or Buy

Pet owners looking to rent or buy October 23, 2018

Pets Training & Boarding catches up with Jimmy Thomson, Editor of the Strata Living Advice Website – Flat Chat – to get some great advice for pet owners who are looking to rent or buy an apartment.

Pet owners will unite in agreement, that renting with pets is not an easy option. For some, it’s merely impossible and will see them sneaking their dogs and cats off the premises during the dreaded rental inspection.

While others will trudge hopelessly around various real estate offices looking for a pet approved rental. There have even been some brave souls who have taken on the owner/body corporates that have endorsed blanket bans on pets in buildings.

“Apartment blocks in NSW that allow tenants to have pets, generally only do so subject to the landlord’s permission – and some include that clause in by-laws as an easy way of reducing the number of pets in their buildings,” Jimmy Thomson, Editor of the Strata Living Advice Website – Flat Chat- says. “Generally speaking, many landlords also take the lowest-risk option, not wanting to worry about maybe having to chase tenants for damage done by their pets or because of nuisance caused to other owners.”
If you are currently on the look-out for some pet-friendly accommodation there are a few tips to help you along;

  1. Ensure your building is pet friendly. It’s not a good idea to go into a non-pet friendly building and try and change the rules. Even though you might win, you might not win the friendship of your neighbours. Research the rules and regulations regarding pets in your preferred building before you sign any rental agreements.
  2. Find the right real estate agent. You’d be surprised how many dwellings could be negotiated to allow pets, however the topic just hasn’t been discussed.
  3. Market Your Pet. Make a pet resume, have referrals of other places you have lived with your pet. Prove they are well trained and well mannered. Think vet comments, trainer testimonials etc. Prove that you are a responsible pet owner and that your pet does not pose a risk to their investment property.
  4. Negotiate. Have a plan of action. Consider offering an additional ‘bond’ for any possible damages caused by the pet. Have some sort of cushion to offer your new landlord.
  5. Speak to the owner direct. If you are having no luck see if you can speak to the owner direct, you might be surprised that they are more willing if they can speak to you in person.
  6. Behaviour. Ensure your pet is well behaved. A barking dog in an apartment will be dealt with pretty quickly by the current Strata. Ironing out any behavioural issues is paramount. Proving to the community that pets can live harmoniously in apartments is key.

“Find a pet-friendly landlord in a pet-friendly building, if you can. The law may be changing in Victoria but, if you want to bring a companion animal into a flat in a building where neither the landlord nor the strata committee want animals, you are asking for trouble,” Jimmy advises. “However, don’t just accept a rental agent’s word that the landlord doesn’t want pets. If you can, contact the owner and ask if a ‘no-pets’ clause is a deal-breaker.”
The good news is that research shows that Strata society’s attitudes to pets are slowly changing. However, it’s also important to understand that as a pet owner, not all owners are responsible. In some cases, the landlords will say a firm ‘no’ because of a bad experience and possible damage to their property caused by a pet. It’s about changing attitudes through good experiences.

Bit About our Expert;
Jimmy Thomson is a journalist, author, scriptwriter and broadcaster who also edits the strata living advice website Flat Chat.