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Advice , Residential

What to look for in a home when you’ve got pets to consider

In recent years, pet ownership has grown so significantly that more Australian households live with a cat or a dog than with a child. So, it’s no surprise that we’re increasingly seeing four-legged friends as an integral part of the family unit, with many people keeping pets in mind when buying a home.

Recent changes to Victorian tenancy laws also support renters in their search for a new home by removing the restrictions that locked pets out of the rental market. But whether you’re buying or renting a house, you need to make sure it is the right fit for your whole family, including your pets.

Here’s what to look for in a home when you have pets:

A secure outdoor area

Look for a secure outdoor area with adequate shade so they’re protected from the elements. This will let your pets enjoy the fresh air during the day and stop them spoiling your nice furnishings inside by giving them somewhere to do their business. If you’re moving into an apartment keep an eye out for spacious terraces or balconies, with coverings so they won’t slip through the railings. Is your pet of the feline variety? A covered porch will also allow you to keep your kitty litter outside the house, which is a saviour for your nostrils.

Large living areas

If you were to spy on your pets you’d probably discover that they’re quite active when you’re not around. Whether they’re playing or exploring they’ll need room to roam. Spacious living areas will protect your belongings from being knocked about when you’re not there, as well as giving you somewhere to keep their bed, toys or scratching posts without your home getting too messy.

A quiet and convenient location

Regardless of the type of pet you have, you want to look for a quiet location. Limiting the amount of noise from traffic, trains or industrial businesses will also limit the likelihood of your dog keeping you up at all hours with their barking. A house away from a main road is also safer for pets in the event that they make a break for the street. As well as a quiet location, you want to be close to pet services such as vet clinics and of course off-lead parks.

Check the local regulations

Before moving into an area check your local council for pet regulations. Some municipalities will require homes with more than two pets to get a permit, and some apartment buildings or Owners Corporations will have strict rules in place that may affect your ability to bring a pet into the building. It’s best to be aware of these before you get your heart set on a home.

While the changes to the tenancy laws make it easier to rent with a pet, you do still need to inform your potential landlord in writing and get their consent first. Creating a pet ‘resume’ can help get you over the line by letting them know your pet characteristics (i.e. healthy, mature and house trained), which should put your landlord’s mind at ease.

Owning a pet used to be a barrier to finding a great home, but these days there’s more available to house-hunters who have furry friends in tow. These tips will help ensure every member of your family feels welcome in your new home.

advice , open for inspection , pets