rspca

Renting with pets: how to build the pawfect pet resume

Pet Care
If you’re a pet owner and have applied for a rental, chances are you’re seen this before: NO PETS ALLOWED
Despite almost two-thirds of Australians owning pets, it’s incredibly common for pet owners to be turned down from renting a property because of their furry, scaled or feathered friend – a meowtrage if you ask me!

In Queensland, landlords can choose to turn away a rental application based on pet ownership, forcing many renters to give up their pets because they can’t find suitable accommodation. In fact, this is the number one reason animals are surrendered to the RSPCA.

That’s in stark contrast to other countries like Germany, where their Federal High Court of Justice deemed that an unconditional ‘no pets’ policy is ‘unreasonable’. 

Un-fur-tunately for Queenslanders, no such rule has been introduced yet – even though research has found pet-friendly properties are usually rented out quicker and retain tenants for longer.  
With that in mind, here’s our top four tips for securing accommodation for you and your best pal/s:

1. Write a pet resume
 Much like landlords wanting to know more about you as a tenant, they’ll also want to know more about your pet. We suggest putting together a ‘pet resume’ for property owners. It should include information such as your pet's favourite things to do, personality traits, quirks and a copy of their medical, training and vaccination records. Additional references from previous landlords and neighbours are also worth including. See below a quick mock-resume we whipped up for Pippa the Staffy – I mean, how could you say no to those eyes!?

2. Arrange a meet and greet

It’s one thing to write ‘NO PETS’ when listing a property – but it’s another to look an animal square in the eyes and say ‘you can’t live here’. It can be beneficial to set up a meet and greet with the landlord so that they can see just how well behaved your pet is. 

Just make sure that:

  • Your pet is clean: 
  • Treat this like a job interview – give your pet a bath beforehand so that they look and smell great! This will make it harder for the landlord to say no.

  • Your pet is well behaved:
  • If you’ve got a dog, take them out for a run or a play beforehand so that they are nice and relaxed during the meeting. If you’ve got a cat, make sure that they’re feline fine so they don’t give the property owner too much cat-titude. 
3. Sweeten the deal

Here’s where you might need to get purr-suasive. In Queensland, you can’t offer an extra ‘pet bond’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t chip in a small amount of extra rent a week to make your application stand out.  You could even write up a policy agreement that includes exit arrangements like flea treating. According to realestate.com.au, 80% of landlords would consider allowing pets for more rent.

4. Don't muck it up
If you manage to nab a rental property with your pet, make sure that you and your pet are respectful tenants. If landlords have a positive experience with pet owners, they’ll be more likely to rent to a pet owner in the future – giving the rest of us some hope!

Best of luck, and fingers crossed future property owners see the great paw-tential in having you and your pet as tenants!

(Good doggos protecting equal oppawtunity for all pets – or at least, WE WISH!) 

Rhiannon Smith
Share this article
Find the perfect pet