Tina Villis


I am still amazed at the number of property owners who do not allow pets in their rentals and it is a challenge for property managers to convince them otherwise.

No Pets!
No Pets, Smoking, or Rolling Skating Allowed

It is interesting that many landlords and managing agents have a blanket rule, a ‘no pets policy’. Being a pet friendly landlord reveals many more prospective tenants and the benefits can significantly outweigh the negatives. Property owners, please listen to the pet owners’ plight!

Given that the demand for pet friendly rentals has outstripped supply, should landlords be enticed to rethinking the ‘no pets’ policy? Most landlords fear expensive property damage by cats and dogs such as scratches on polished floors, but so can stiletto heels or footy boots. A well-managed pet rental can consistently have positive economic outcomes.

Allowing tenants to keep pets can be a positive experience for everyone involved.

  • Renters with pets sign longer leases and are less likely to move as it is may be disruptive to the animal. This means landlords can reduce advertising and vacancy costs.
  • It is uncommon for pets to damage a property and the cost of pet damage is reportedly less than tenants with children.
  • Research suggests that responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants, abiding by house rules and enjoying better mental and physical well-being.
  • Would-be tenants with pets are often willing to pay a higher weekly rent for the privilege of a having their pet come and live with them.
  • For similar reasons, pet-friendly properties tend to rent more readily, and pet-owning tenants move in as soon as they find a suitable property.

In researching the topic on ‘pet friendly’ I was surprised to see that there are websites in the holiday accommodation space such as Holiday Paws which are specifically designed for pet friendly holiday makers. This is indeed a contrast to the market for pet friendly long term rentals… and obviously a market segment only available to pet friendly properties!

Did you know that there are now pet-friendly businesses creeping into the market in Australia? Boarding kennels have always been a given, we now have pet resorts and even a pet hotel offering climate-controlled suites, day care, grooming and training for dogs and cats. There are dog and cat cafes popping up in cities around Australia with menus for dogs and cats. I had an experience with a ‘cat café’ in Adelaide, the MeowMe Cat Café about twelve months ago

A Taste of MeowMe Café

when I adopted a 6 week old kitten named Gracie.  I walked into the café around 7pm, had a coffee and ate an unusual green layered dessert. Once you have had a refreshment you are then allowed to join the ‘kitten party’ behind an enclosed glass enclosure – only 7 kitten searching bodies are allowed through the door at one time. Not sure how you choose one tiny fluffy bundle over another, however you need to fall in love with one and put your name on it! Adopters need to fill in an application form, you are then vetted as the perfect owner or not before being given the friendly acceptance call several days later.

The point of this story is that one day I myself may be looking for a rental property and I hope by then that property owners have come to the realisation that owners with pets make excellent tenants. I am an excellent tenant! It would be shame to be excluded from consideration, and the thought of having to give away a precious family pet is most distressing. I would be interested in communicating with anyone who has had to give up a pet to secure a lease as a tenant; leave a comment below or feel free to get in touch.

Tina Villis


to bunny or not to bunny
That is the question!

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 leaseMilk, or honey?, 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.


Manager of Fuzz Therapy

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!