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Buying a home

House hunting: Who comes first, pets or friends? 

29 April 2020

Looking for a new home that ticks all the boxes? If you own pets and want to live close to friends, you probably want a place that lets you do both. But that can sometimes be tricky.  

If you’re like the majority of Australians surveyed in the Suncorp Home Index Report, pet friendly places get priority. But why is that? And what are some of the hurdles Aussies face when renting with pets?

What features are important when house hunting?  

Every renter has a long wishlist when choosing a home, but sticking to your budget often means sacrificing a few items. It can be difficult to know which features are essential and which are just nice-to-have.

Must-haves can include things like proximity to schools or public transport, or a big backyard. And according to new Suncorp research, pet-friendliness is a priority for 51% of Aussies. On the other hand, only 39% of the 1,600 people surveyed rate living close to friends as important.

How difficult is it to buy a house with pets?

Some apartment buildings are not pet friendly, or may require you to seek permission from your body corporate to keep a pet. You may also expect to pay more money for an apartment that allows pets.

As for houses, though, most home owners don’t need consent to keep a pet at their property. So, generally speaking, it’s pretty easy to buy a house and move your pet in with you.

How hard is it to find pet-friendly rental properties?

There is a perception that pets could cause damage or annoy other tenants. Depending on which state or territory you’re in, landlords can ban pets from their rental properties. Pet owners are left with tough choices – give up on properties they might love, or even give up their pets entirely. The RSPCA1 estimates between 15-30% of dogs and cats are given away because they can’t be taken into a new rental property.

Since there are so few properties on the market labelled as pet friendly, it can create tough competition for hopeful tenants and more pressure on animal shelters.

How to secure a pet-friendly home

  • Speak with your real estate agent. They may already be aware of which properties allow pets and which don’t.
  • Be honest with your landlord from the get-go.
  • Get a referral from a past landlord or craft a ‘pet resume’.
  • Offer to pay a pet bond or to add a pet clause to your rental agreement.

For more helpful tips, you can learn more about securing a pet-friendly home.

Covering your pet-friendly needs

If you’re able to do both, or have to choose between a pet-friendly place or living close to friends, then like many Australians, remember to get home and contents insurance to cover your house and possessions against damage from unexpected events.

For renters and owner-occupiers, contents only insurance can cover some of the things inside your home – like furniture, clothing, appliances, and more – from events such as burglaries and natural disasters.

Get a Contents Insurance Quote In Minutes


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