Most of the time, taking the safest route is usually the easiest way to go – especially when it comes to protecting against pet damage. However, sometimes it’s the things that we take a chance on that provide the greatest rewards. If you love pets but still feel unsure about allowing them in your property, some of the tips on this page may help give you the reassurance you need.
Meet the pet
If you receive a great application from a pet-owner, with solid references and a great pet resume, but still feel hesitant, don’t be afraid to meet them! Sometimes meeting the pet and its owner can give you a pretty good idea of who they are and could go a long way in helping you feel more comfortable.
Ongoing, you may also wish to organize more frequent inspections so that you feel confident that the care and maintenance of the property meets your expectations.
Trialling your tenant
If it’s your first time allowing pets in your rental and want to feel more confident about protecting against pet damage, you may prefer to offer new tenants a trial period first. Or if your existing tenant has asked for your permission to get a pet, they could foster a pet from an animal shelter to ensure you both feel comfortable with the change before taking the next steps towards adoption.
Set your terms
A solid pet agreement will help you set clear expectations for the tenant to follow – for example, you may prefer that pets are only kept in the yard. It also doesn’t hurt to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to things like pet waste, odours and the consequences of tenants not meeting their obligations.
If you want to open your property to pets, but still feel hesitant, you may also wish to get pet damage cover included in your landlord insurance policy. It’s important that you do your research to find the best policy and premium for you.
While this is often at an additional cost to you, it may be worth comparing it to the potential benefits of a long-term tenant and adjusting the rent to cover the additional premium.
Adapt and modify
If possible, consider whether you can modify your property in small ways to make it more pet-friendly and less likely to get damaged. For example, is there an opportunity to have tiles or floor boards instead of carpet in the property? Or to install fencing around the yard so pets have access to outside?
What about a pet door, even a temporary one if you have sliding doors? Any of these changes could help reduce the chance of any damage and make a significant difference to the lives of many Australians and their pets.