Property investors are always looking for ways to increase their return on investment properties, but many look past one of the simplest options: pets.
You may cringe at the thought of letting dogs and cats live in your investment property, but they can be a valuable asset.
Firstly, pet-friendly properties are in high demand. According to the Australian Companion Animal Council Inc. there are 33 million pets in Australia, including 3.41 million dogs and 2.35 million cats. Also, most pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family and will spare no expense to keep them. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian pet owners spend $6 billion on their pets each year.
This is a huge pool of potential tenants who may be looking for a property to rent in the future. This will also make your property look more attractive in the market and can often result in lower vacancy periods.
Secondly, as pet-friendly properties are in high demand, you have the opportunity to raise the rent on your property. Many property investors do not allow pets, so pet-owners are limited to where they can live and often have to take what they can get. Therefore, as you are offering something extra, you can charge extra.
However, if you are still worried about the potential damage that may happen, remember, that this is your property and you have control over what happens to it. If you are nervous about allowing pets, implement rules that will help ease any doubts you may have.
Possible Provisions to Implement:
• Request to see the pets before choosing the tenant: Although all pets are different, some breeds or even certain ages of cats and dogs can be more prone to damage.
• Increase the rent or bond: As there are many owners who do not allow pets, you could increase the rent as pets are considered an added bonus. Increasing the bond will send a clear message to the tenant from the beginning that any damage caused by their pet will be their responsibility.
• The tenant is required to have certain areas of the property professionally treated regularly (eg. carpets/lawn):Agree on how often the tenant will need to have certain areas treated so as to help minimise damage.
In the end, how a pet behaves is often a reflection of the owner. So, finding a quality tenant who is responsible is even more important when pets are involved.