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Securing your next pet-friendly rental: top tips for tenants

Acing your application is key to securing a rental property with pets. Around the country, tenants are facing one of the toughest rental markets ever, with vacancy rates falling to an all-time low. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some easy strategies pet owners can take to get the home of their dreams.

Choose your suburb wisely

If you’re a pet parent hunting for a new rental, choosing the right neighbourhood can make a big difference. Keep in mind access to pet-friendly amenities that suit your lifestyle. Proximity to parks – especially those with off-leash areas – as well as dog-friendly beaches and walking tracks, will ensure there’s plenty of space for dogs to run around, as well as giving you the chance to meet like-minded locals. Make sure you feel safe walking around the streets at all hours, especially if your pet’s an early riser!

Consider the type of property and amenities

Before applying for a new property, make sure it is suitable for your pet. Does it have a backyard or access to a balcony? Is there a lift or flight of stairs? Don’t rent a walk-up apartment if you have an older or larger dog. When starting your property search identify properties that say “pets allowed” from the outset. Many new developments are factoring in pet-friendly perks like fenced gardens, water fountains and clean-up supplies in common areas.

Be thorough with the information

The more detail you can include in your application the more likely you are to win over a prospective landlord. Property managers like to have as much information as possible before making an assessment. Mention your pet’s breed, age, temperament, behaviour and provide a photo. You can also attach your Certificate of Registration or pet’s microchip number (if you don’t have a record of this ask your local vet), along with a vaccination history. Document your pet’s overall health and training record.

Ask your current agent for a reference

Rental references should be included in your to help you stand out against the competition. Property managers conduct a thorough screening process and will vet tenants based on their references. Adding a previous landlord to your list of references can help demonstrate your capacity to look after a property while keeping a pet. If you have a new puppy, it may be worth enrolling them in a training program and note this in your application.

Act quickly

The dwindling supply of rental properties means pet-friendly homes tend to rent out faster. Have all your paperwork (including photo IDs, recent pay slips and a cover letter for extra credit) copied and certified if necessary. Be early to the inspection to greet the real estate agent and submit your application on the day. In such a competitive market, timing is everything. You can fill in application forms online prior to the inspection to save time.

Be aware of your responsibilities

All landlords want reliable tenants who they can trust. Be upfront and honest about your pet to avoid a major headache later on. Failing to disclose your furry friend could result in a breach of contract and even eviction. Landlords want to know that you are going to respect the neighbour’s privacy, comfort and keep noise levels down. Be prepared to answer questions about breed, height, weight and your pet’s daily behaviour. Are you working from home and able to take them out regularly? Or does your pet accompany you to the office? Make the agent aware of your day-to-day routine

Looking to move homes? Learn more about the process of renting and search all our new rental properties available here.