How to secure a pet-friendly rental home
25 May 2023
For many Aussies, finding a home that’s suitable for their furry family members is a must. And yet, only ten percent of rental homes accept applications from pet owners1.
Luckily, recent housing law changes in states like QLD2 have made it easier for renters to live with a pet. And there are a few things you can do to help you succeed in finding a pet-friendly home.
Why is it difficult to rent with pets?
Landlords don’t know that your paw-some pal is healthy and well-trained and you’re a responsible pet owner. They might have had bad experiences in the past, or heard stories from other landlords about pets doing things like the following:
- Causing property damage and excessive wear and tear.
- Being loud and a nuisance to neighbours.
- Becoming aggressive and scaring or attacking other tenants.
But taking a few extra steps to reassure the landlord that you’ll take good care of the property may help you secure a rental.
Tips to find a pet-friendly rental
Broaden your search
Research all the rental websites you can find, not just the well-known ones. Keep an eye out for directories that specialise in pet-friendly rentals.
You may also wish to try these ideas:
- Searching for pet-friendly rental listings or groups on social media sites, like Facebook or Gumtree.
- Asking fellow pet parents – online and offline – if they could refer you to a real estate agent or property manager known to be pet friendly.
- Contacting the Real Estate Institute of your state or territory for a referral to a pet-friendly real estate agency.
Be transparent with your landlord
Being honest about your pet situation is always a good option when applying for a rental property. Don’t try to conceal that you’re a pet parent – doing so could lead to a breach of your tenancy agreement and even eviction from the property.
Instead, consider approaching the landlord or real estate agent directly and setting up a meet and greet with your pet. You never know, the rental owner could be a secret dog or cat lover.
Submit a pet resume
Many agents say a resume for your pet can make a difference. Rental application platforms like 1form let you upload a cover letter and pictures of your pets.
Consider including details such as the following:
- Physical description – things like your pet’s size, weight, and breed.
- Vaccination history and general health condition.
- Certificates or description of any pet etiquette and obedience training.
- References from previous landlords or real estate agents confirming that your pet caused no issues in terms of noise, damage or smells.
Doing so will demonstrate that you’re a responsible pet owner. However, while pets have the potential to cause damage to the rental property, unexpected events in the home could also expose your pets to harm.
That’s why at Suncorp Insurance we offer an ‘Injury to pet dogs and cats’ optional cover under our Contents Only Insurance. If a pet dog or cat shown on your certificate of insurance is injured in an accident, we’ll pay for the necessary veterinary treatment – up to $2,000 for any one incident – and an excess of $100 will apply instead of the standard excess. Exclusions apply. Refer to the PDS for details.
Contents Only Insurance also provides cover for your belongings in the rental property in case of accidental loss or damage from insured events such as theft, storm#, flood* or fire* – so consider getting cover once you move into your new home.
To find out more including the exclusions and limits that apply, be sure to read the PDS.
Preparing for your pet-friendly rental search
Before you deep dive into researching rentals, take a few moments to compile a list of criteria you and your pet may need to live comfortably.
Know your pet's needs
Like all humans, pets are unique and have individual personalities and characteristics. Is your furry friend big or small? A small-to-medium sized apartment may fit a French bulldog, but you might want a bit more space for a golden retriever.
Does your family feline have short or long hair? A mostly carpeted rental home might be harder to clean after a Persian longhair, as opposed to a Siamese or Russian blue cat.
Does your pup like to enjoy more time outside or inside? You might need to find a place with a backyard for an active pup.
These are just a few things to think about.
You might want to be near pet-friendly amenities. These can include:
- dog runs or dog parks with pet-friendly water fountains
- complexes with pet-friendly shared spaces – such as rooftop patios and BBQ and grill courtyards, and
- a nearby vet in case of an emergency.
Some suburbs are also sometimes known to be more pet-friendly than others. One survey conducted by the RSPCA revealed that the three top pet-adoption suburbs in QLD included Forest Lake, Redbank Plains and Springfield Lakes3.
Do in-depth research of homes in your state, prepare all your pet’s details and apply to as many places as you can. You’ll want to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best chance to find the perfect rental home for you and your pet!
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* Storm means a storm, cyclone or severe atmospheric disturbance. It can be accompanied by strong winds, rain, lightning, hail, snow or dust. It includes loss or damage caused by a landslide or subsidence within 72 hours of, and directly because of, a storm and not because of erosion, structural fault or design fault.
We also do not insure you for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Read the PDS for more details.
# Flood means the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or released from the normal confines of things like a lake, river, reservoir, canal or other natural watercourse. Actions or movements of the sea or storm surge are not covered.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.