Over the last few months I have had enquiries from potential guests and tenants looking for pet friendly accommodation. I recently had a call requesting pet friendly short-term accommodation while waiting for a property settlement and at the time I had nothing to offer. We have only three explicitly pet-friendly properties in our portfolio, and even they were not in the right location. Holidaying With Dogs to the rescue!
In another instance a prospective tenant enquired about a seaside property we have listed looking for a 6 month lease, however she has a tea cup poodle; I phoned the owners who live interstate and asked if they would agree to accept this tiny pet; unfortunately, they refused. The prospective tenant was willing to provide a pet reference and provide evidence that in the past there has been no problems with having their dog in residence. As a consequence the owner lost a 6 month lease at $1000 per week and more rent was offered per week to allow for a pet. Instances like these has lead me to investigate pet friendly accommodation in Australia more thoroughly.
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, proving that we are a nation of pet lovers.
An article I found on the Holidaying with Dogs website estimates 39% of households own a dog. This equates to 3 million dogs living in homes across the country. The transport industry has recognised the need for pet friendly travel in some locations, allowing dogs to travel on trains, trams and buses.
The pet-friendly short term accommodation market is growing,
however in the residential tenancy market there is significant lack of property being offered as pet friendly.
It is estimated by the Australian Companion Animal Council that of the national rental property listings in Australia only 4% were pet friendly, providing a massive difference between supply and demand.
Local figures from realestate.com.au for the Adelaide metropolitan area appear to agree with this percentage – there appears to be an overlooked opportunity for many landlords to decrease vacancy rates and increase revenue by allowing a pet. It is unfortunate that the majority of landlords and agents have a ‘no pet policy’. Pet friendly properties are in high demand across Adelaide and tenants are struggling to find properties that accept pets.
I am a pet owner myself and thought of giving up my two cats as the only option to be considered as a tenant would cause a great deal of heart-ache.
So I submit the plea to all landlords: that they consider a pet friendly option for their properties and I offer a personal conversation with anyone considering the pros and cons of allowing pets in their investment property. Let’s work together to address this housing shortage and the untapped pet-friendly accommodation market!