Landlords should not be so quick to ban property managers from accepting applications from tenants with dogs. According to some PM directors, they can be the better option.
RE/MAX managing director Geoff Baldwin said, as an experienced manager of large rent rolls, he has found the general consensus that dogs damage properties “far from the truth”.
“Considering, or even welcoming applications from dog owners has two major advantages for the landlord in that these tenants will usually pay a premium rent and they are much less likely to move because it’s harder for them to find another pet-friendly property owner” Mr Baldwin said.
“Although it may sound brutal, often the facts are that more damage can be done by young children than by a dog. However, no-one would consider banning families with children from applying for their rental property.”
Mr Baldwin said it is still important to take into account factors such as the size of the dog, its breed, its propensity for shedding fur, its age, and whether it’s an "outside dog" or "inside dog".
“There is also the option of seeking feedback from previous landlords, and the property owner has a legal right to request an additional pet bond,” he said.
“In a more competitive rental market, as is predicted for 2015, owners should be looking at ways to make their property more attractive, and actually inviting tenants with dogs to apply is a huge point of difference.”
Speaking to RPM, M Residential head of property management/director Laura Levisohn said she asks her landlords to consider tenants with pets, as it “widens the floodgates of enquiries”.
“We see two different styles of pet owners and this is shown upon their application submission. There is the type that will state they have a pet and that's it. We then get applicants that not only state the required information but also a letter with photos introducing us to Rover the dog and explaining how he loves going for walks and laying in the sun and that he is quiet and loves people.
“In this instance, it is evident that they are caring pet owners that look at Rover as their family," says Ms Levisohn.
“I will then explain to my client that pet owners find it difficult to rent properties and, in some instances, are willing to pay a premium for the opportunity. We would advise to market the rent at the higher end of our recommendations and advertise that pets will be considered,” she said.
“I think it is important for all property managers to outline the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a pet, and place confidence in their landlord of the measures the PM takes to ensure a successful pet-friendly tenancy.”