Thinking of making the switch to a pet-friendly rental property? You wouldn’t be alone.
Many tenants today have pets; and are in need of pet-friendly accommodation. Landlords are discovering that opening the door to pet owners can help a property to rent faster –and for longer than their no-pets counterparts. In many areas, saying ‘yes’ to pets will give you a distinct advantage over other properties on the market.
Of course, there are a few things that you’ll want to do before you have that pet clause added into the lease. In addition to adjusting your terms on the lease, you’ll also want to take steps to make your rental property as attractive to pet owners, and, while you’re at it, it may be worth pet-proofing some areas to help minimise potential damage as well.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few things that you can do to create the best pet-friendly rental on the block. Here’s how you can sweeten the deal! Woof!
Install Some Fencing
While it might not seem like a big deal to you, fencing can be a deal-breaker for many potential tenants who have pets. Fencing allows dogs to spend time roaming outdoors, which is vital for burning off extra energy. If you have a yard, adding fencing to your property would be a good way to move your rental to the top of the list.
Consider Your Landscaping
Next, you’ll want to consider the rest of the outdoors as well. Take a walk through your yard and look for potential problem areas. This might include gaps in fencing where a dog can burrow through, or any other places that could enable an escape. Once any holes are repaired, you’ll want to turn your attention to the types of plants that are growing on your property. A few plants that you’ll want to avoid include iris, daffodil, foxglove, lily of the valley, and monkshood –they’re poisonous to dogs.
Plants that get thumbs-ups from pups are lavender, rosemary, mint, blueberry bushes, and wheat grass.
Watch the Pesticides
If you’re allowing pets, you’ll also want to steer clear of harmful herbicides, fertilisers, and pesticides. Instead, stick to pet-safe organic versions, and dog-safe lawn care practices.
Add Pet-Friendly Walkways
If you’re thinking of adding a fence or doing some landscaping around your property, you’ll want to consider adding in some dog-friendly paths around the yard. Fence lines are a good place to add gravel since dogs tend to patrol the perimeters, wearing down the grass in these areas. When creating paths, look to use gravel or wood chips that won’t get stuck in fur.
Include Pet-Friendly Features
A surprisingly high number of cats fall out of windows, so if you’re going to allow cats make sure the screens are sturdy and properly installed. Another pet-friendly measure would be to install a cat or doggy door to provide animals with easy access to a fenced-in yard –well-exercised pets are much less likely to cause damage to the house. Finally, a flexible shower head hose for the bath is a must for bathing dogs!
Be Competitive With the Rent
Many landlords assume that since the pet-friendly accommodation is scarce, they can charge excessive rent. But while pet-friendly digs may be hard to come by, it’s important to keep your rent competitive too. Be sure to have a look at other pet-friendly rentals in the area to understand what they’re going for.
Emphasise Nearby Amenities
Is your rental close to dog parks or other open space where tenants could walk their dogs? Is it on a quiet and safe street? Be sure to emphasise the aspects of your property that will appeal to pet owners if you’re looking to attract people with pets.
Finally, if you’re thinking of allowing pets in your rental –don’t let this list scare you off! You don’t have to implement all of the above tips at once, ripping up the carpet and installing fencing. Instead, the best place to start is with small, do-able steps. Ensure that the window screens are all intact, and take stock of the yard to ensure there are no potential hazards or unsafe plants.
At Lot 42 we automatically include a pet clause in the lease whenever we rent a pet-friendly property, with terms including that any pet-related repairs to damages are to be paid for by the tenant, mandatory flea treatments upon vacating and generally not allowing pets inside the property.
Once you’ve decided you are happy to accommodate pets at your investment, the benefits of being a pet-friendly landlord are yours!