Like most Aussies, you love animals. So why not let the tenants who rent your home bring theirs? At this point, you’re imagining pet tenancy as involving a cute kitty and a couple of well-behaved pooches. What harm can they do? And with 63 percent of Australians owning pets, you know you’re more likely to get tenants fast. So far, we can’t fault your thinking, but there are a few things you should think about first, and a few clauses you should add to your lease agreement.
Not All Pets are Well-Behaved
Dogs that bark incessantly; dogs that howl in the night; dogs that dig up the garden; dogs that are allowed indoors even though they aren’t house trained – the list goes on. Your pet pooch may be well-behaved, but what if your tenant’s isn’t?
Even cats can cause problems. Un-neutered toms will “spray,” and if it’s indoors, the smell is really, really hard to get rid of. And then there’s the possibility of clawed carpets and even claw-sharpening on wooden door frames. We’ve even seen curtain rails that bent or were pulled free from the wall because kitty climbs the curtains!
Even Well-Cared-For Pets Can Introduce Fleas
It’s a fact of life. If pets have been allowed indoors, there’s a good chance you’ll need to fumigate between tenants. All it takes is a little slip in the flea-control program, and before you know it there are fleas breeding in the carpets and in the gaps between wooden floorboards.
We’ve already inspected houses where we walked in and had to walk right out again because we were being eaten alive by a million starving fleas.
How Big is That Doggie?
You’ve got a nice, spacious lawn, and you’ve fenced the property. Surely that makes it fine for pet tenancy? It depends on the dog! Large, active breeds need lots and lots of space. And some of them are pretty good fence jumpers too.
Good pet owners will exercise their dogs twice a day, but life is busy, and there’s no way you can write doggy-walking into a lease agreement. Bored dogs get up to all kinds of mischief, especially when their owners are away at work. Besides, keeping a dog in a yard that’s much too small for it is cruel.
What Can You do to Welcome Pet Tenancy All the Same?
If you’ve been searching the internet, you’ll find a lot of mentions of pet bonds from US websites. In a way, it makes a lot of sense. If the pets do any damage, the pet bond is there to cover the costs. But that’s not allowed in Tasmania. However, Tasmanian Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading says that tenants are responsible for covering the costs of any damage caused by pets.
If things are going badly wrong, your property managers can revoke pet tenancy permission for the property. It’s best to include a clause like this in the tenancy agreement – housing Tasmania already does so for public housing developments.
You can also refuse dangerous dog breeds and you can (and should) insist that pets be neutered. Not keen on having a very large dog living on your property? You can stipulate this pet tenancy clause in your lease agreement too. And you can say how many pets you’ll allow. All of these provisions should be clearly stipulated in the lease.
Rely on Baxton Property Management
If you decide to allow pets on your rental property, you can always rely on Baxton. We’ll recover anything that’s owing in damages after tenants move out – and we’ll monitor the situation to ensure that pets don’t become the neighbourhood nuisance.
Just a simple chat to prospective tenants about their pets will already give us a good idea of whether they’re well-cared-for and well-behaved. And you can be sure we’ll include all the necessary clauses in the lease agreement. We’ll follow up, too. Choose Baxton. We take property management – and pet tenancy – seriously.
#1 – Australia’s Property Management Specialists