Your Secret Weapon to Renting With a Pet!
It's a fact of life that many pet owners, sitters and dog walkers on Pawshake rent in Australia.
As a renter, you can enjoy so many advantages unique to your situation – mobility, freedom, assistance with repairs and a wider range of options in terms of location and lifestyle. But renting with a pet can sometimes be tricky, especially when it comes to securing that lease.
Our friends at rent.com.au found in a recent survey that of more than 1,300 renters in Australia, 42% found it 'extremely difficult' to secure a place to live with their pet despite 63% of Aussie homes owning a pet. Anecdotally, we at Pawshake have heard of this experience time and time again from within our pet-loving community.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to open up that conversation with potential landlords and real estate agents. Here are five steps to get you started:
1) Create a Pet Resume!
Rent.com.au recognises the difficulties facing house-hunting pet owners, so they have created a fantastic tool for you to their application process. The 'Pet Resume' allows landlords to view specific information about your pet just as they would want to view specific information about any tenant! For a pet, this might include breed, registration and vaccination information.
Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader says offering this information opens up an exchange between both parties that can speed up the screening process. “Introducing a Pet Resume to a prospective landlord, combined with a Renter Resume, can build a real case for responsible pet ownership,” says Mr Bader. “It’s a proactive move that shows a tenant’s honest and open approach to taking responsibility for their pets. Even if the landlord doesn’t request it, being prepared with a Pet Resume could set a tenant apart from the pack and help with the negotiation process.”
2) Pick your battles
Use your common sense when applying for a place with your pet – for your sake, your pet's sake and your potential future landlord! If you own a dog or cat that needs their space, or has come from a house where they had a big garden or multiple levels, and you are applying for a small apartment with a tiny balcony....then perhaps think again. Owning a pet sometimes requires compromise, so it's worth shopping around until you find somewhere that will make your WHOLE household happy!
3) Use a pet sitter!
The transition of a move can be mega stressful for humans AND pets – all that cleaning, packing, unpacking and general stress can really get a good dog down! This is precisely the moment Pawshake can step in and save the day by giving your cat or dog a mini-holiday in the midst of the madness (and give you the space you need to get on with your move). Check out our previous blog on moving with a pet for more helpful tips.
4) Cleanliness is next to godliness!
Whether this is your current property or any future property – commit to cleaning up after your pet! There are so many reasons for this....firstly, we all know that a pet can leave fur practically everywhere, make marks on the walls, have accidents or scratch up the carpet. Deal with these issues as they arise (check out our guide to preventing cats from scratching!) rather than doing a big, superficial cleanup the day before an inspection. Trust us - a landlord can tell the difference! By respecting the state of the property, your landlord will be thrilled to see it in such good condition during inspections. You will be more likely to secure your full bond back and might even get a beaming reference – but best yet, you will give a great impression for all future tenants who are pet owners!
5) Communicate and be honest!
This will save you from a world of bother! Never lie and say you don't own a pet, or attempt to conceal this – there's nothing worse than feeling deceptive and having to hide your pet every time there's an inspection. Instead, be open and honest. Get all agreements in writing before you move in (make sure your lease reflects that you have a pet) and be sure to let your landlord know if any issues do arise. Honesty is always the best policy in the long run!
Are you a renter and a pet owner? How do you find the experience of searching for a property to live in with your pet? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!