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The Informed Investor: Pets and Property

Michael McLaren

For some, even thinking about the grin of a golden labrador is enough to make them go absolutely gooey…

And for the rest, it wouldn’t take long to think of someone they know for whom that applies.

Pets are a hugely important part of many lives, and as housing affordability means more and more people are spending more and more of their lives in the rental market, it follows pets are also a big issue when it comes to rental properties.

It’s something that’s being reflected in changes to tenancy acts across the country, with tenants being afforded more rights than ever when it comes to pet ownership. For property owners, it could mean the blanket “no pets” rule is harder to enforce, which could leave them sitting with concerns about property damage. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Although tenants now have a right to ask for pets to be allowed, this doesn’t have to be automatically granted if there is sufficient reason why pets are a bad fit for the property
  • Even if pets are accepted as part of tenancy, the landlord can still negotiate rules- things like “must sleep outside” or “isn’t allowed in newly carpeted bedroom”. These rules are hard to enforce but ideally they’re also an important aspect of the control a property owner has.
  • Tenants always have a responsibility to look after the property and prevent damage, regardless of whether furry or feathered friends are present or not.
  • Regular inspections, as always, are a great idea to ensure the maintenance of a property.     

Although the incoming trends with pets and property may not seem like a good deal for landlords, Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer Landlord and Building insurance says it actually is; opening up the possibilities for more tenants to occupy more properties and discouraging the common practice of secretly keeping pets within properties in favour of dialogue between tenants and their landlord.

For more advice, listen to Carolyn’s chat with Michael McClaren via the player above and visit the Terri Scheer website.   


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Michael McLaren