The Pet-friendly Niche

I was quite interested to read this article  and find that a pet friendly unit can add up to $15,000 in it’s resale value. This means that if you purchase a rental property you can market it to attract pet owners and reap the financial benefit.

Finding a pet friendly rental has always been a bit harder. Either the quality of the place isn’t what the tenant is hoping for, or the location of the rental isn’t in the desired area. Most pet owners will put their pets needs before themselves, if they have to take a place outside the desired area because it has a nice backyard for their dog, they will more often than not take it.  With the rental market becoming tighter it’s been reported  that thousands of animals have been given to the RSPCA or given away to friends, since their owners can’t find pet friendly rentals.

It seems then, there is a real niche in the market that could be filled with a good return on investment. Cats tend to be low maintenance but are their other animals that you could promote as being suitable to your property. Would your rental be a viable place for rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, mice, or even reptiles? It’s about using what you have, and working with it to suit what you, as a landlord are comfortable with, and what your Property Manager is a easily about to keep an eye on.

There are ways to ensure that your rental property is well maintained and cared for by tenants. If you are a little nervous about having pets in your rental property, you can look at some or all of the following:

  • Increased rent.
  • Pet cleaning/damage deposit
  • Include move out fees such as flea bombing and professional carpet cleaning (if applicable).
  • Regular inspections – maybe include an addition inspection each year for peace of mind.

If you wanted to make some changes that would really sell your place as pet friendly you could:

  • Change out carpet for tile or hardwood
  • Add a cat flap.
If you are tempted to offer your rental to dog owners, but are not 100% sure, a few extra precautions could help.
  • Ask for a photo of the dog attached to the application.
  • Ask for 1 or 2 references from previous landlords.
  • Ask about the dog’s behaviour and if they have completed any obedience school training.
Luckily if pets do damage at all, they tend to do damage that can be fairly easily fixed. If they do, then the pet deposit should cover it.

It appears there is a  hole in the market that would allow for bigger returns with a little forethought. Not only could you reap the benefit of increased rent, but tenants who have pets prefer longer term leases, since it’s such a frustrating experience looking for new pet-friendly accommodation. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you don’t just market yourself as being pet-friendly, list what features your places has and maybe even highlight what sort of animals your place would be appropriate for.

Is your rental property cat friendly, dog friendly or even reptile friendly? How far would you go to make your property a pet-friendly rental? Is it worth it in your opinion?

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