Are pet friendly rental properties a good investment?

Published on December 2nd, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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The Australian rental market is finding itself in a bit of a puzzle. On the one hand, landlords are seeking good tenants willing to pay the rental fee, and on the other hand, many potential tenants have been turned down since they own pets.

With around 63% of Australian households owning pets, if you follow the stats from Animal Medicines Australia, then you will grasp that that is a large section of the population. This percentage includes a fair amount of potential rental tenants that own pets. And as pet friendly rental properties are exceeding demand, any investor should take note and investigate this trend for the possibility to earn a premium on their investment.

The factors that are leading to the demand for rentals

A trend developing in Australia is downsizing, and moving from a house into an apartment building. This trend is mostly driven by wanting fewer expenses, but also many people that are choosing to live alone or finding themselves without children.

The factors blocking the uptake of rentals

As so many Australians are pet owners, they are being blocked by a lack of pet-friendly housing. This being since most landlords are either being shortsighted in terms of how they view potential tenants with pets or a clause in the body corporate schemes that ban pets within apartment buildings. Either way, many proprietors are missing out on a growing trend and the opportunity of asking for a higher rental income as compared to tenants without pets.

Why invest in a pet friendly rental property?

For those landlords opting to allow pets, the rewards can be beneficial. This, as pet owners prefer to sign longer lease agreements than those without pets, according to Australian Companion Animal Council. A longer lease will mean a saving on advertising costs and the possibility of having a property standing empty. And additionally Australian Companion Animal Council found that responsible pet owners can be very good tenants that will abide by the house rules.

There could also be a financial benefit for property-owners. For their property could become more valuable in terms of demand. The implication would be that the agent or the proprietor could ask for a higher rental fee. As the rental supply is limited, particularly for decent housing, many tenants with pets would be willing to pay slightly more for a pet friendly housing.

Just a few things to remember

Once you realize that you could earn a better return on your buy-to-rent investment, you will want to make sure to sign a pet keeping agreement. This agreement is available on the Australian Companion Animal Council’s website, which also contains brochures that will provide you will some useful tips about renting to pet owners. But one thing that you should do when drafting a lease agreement is to note the pets in the lease. Furthermore, if you are allowing pets as part of the lease, then you need to make sure that they are covered by your insurance policy.

The bottom-line

With the huge amount of people owning pets, and housing in shortfall, you could ask slightly more for your buy-to-rent investment property. Just ensure that the lease agreement is compiled correctly.

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