Ask RiotACT: finding pet-friendly rentals

ashmaree 1 June 2016 4
Ask RiotACT

Hi all,

Does anyone have any suggestions for finding a pet-friendly rental in Canberra?

I’ve been scouring allhomes and Domain but so many listings say either ‘no pets considered’ or, if not specified, a follow up call to the estate agent confirms that no pets are allowed.

Are there any agents who are known for advertising pet-friendly properties? Or other places I should be looking?

Thank you!

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4 Responses to Ask RiotACT: finding pet-friendly rentals
Maya123 Maya123 11:06 am 01 Mar 16

Many years ago when I rented I applied for a flat (One of a group of four flats owned by the one person. They also owned several flats elsewhere.) which didn’t allow animals. I had a cat and asked the owner (no agent) if they would allow the cat. They did to my surprise. “The cat will be okay, but nothing bigger.” Then I smiled when they first saw him, and commented, “Big, isn’t he.” But by then I had established myself as a good tenant and felt save. For instance, they evicted my neighbour, but when I left they told me if I ever needed a flat, contact them and they would see if they had anything available.

Many years after that I had a rental house. Both my best and worst tenants had dogs. The pets behaviour tends to be reflected by the owner. I might not automatically say no to a pet; it’s the owner I might say no to.

Brisal Brisal 12:12 am 01 Mar 16

It is always best to ask. “No pets” might mean “No Saint Bernards, but we’ll be happy with lap dogs”.

taiyaki taiyaki 9:37 pm 29 Feb 16

Dear Ashmaree

This used to be my biggest issue in the long years renting with pets in Canberra. I’m sad that it hasn’t got much better – pet owners make better tenants in my view, because they are happily responsible for another living creature.

We used to still apply for houses that said ‘no pets’, but at the point of signing ask for a pet clause and offer a pet bond. It worked every time and we lived for 10 years in various Canberra rental properties with our cats. We never lost a cent of our bond, and had no problems finding pet-friendly places, even if they didn’t state it.

And when I rent out my house in the future, I’m looking forward to only considering pet owners as tenants!

Good luck in the search.

aaa123 aaa123 5:28 pm 29 Feb 16

From a landlord’s perspective:

I always consider applicants with suitable pets. However, despite making this clear to my property managers, they rarely actually advertise the property as pets considered, against my interests as this encourages applicants. I have even had them advertise my property as “no pets” against my wishes because that is what they “always do”.

Property managers who tell tenants a blanket “no pets” without even considering the application as a whole are doing the wrong thing by the landlord both because they might be turning away an excellent tenant and because it encourages tenants to lie in desperation and sneak in the pet, also not a good thing for the landlord.

I would suggest trying to sell yourself as a great tenant to the property manager without mentioning the pet if you can without lying, then putting in a full application anyway with as much positive details of the pet as possible. Try to politely insist (if they refuse to) that they pass on the application to the landlord (as a landlord I would be really annoyed if a property manager turned away a tenant without contacting me, it is my decision not the property managers). Consider offering a small amount extra rent even $5 to make it harder for the property manager to refuse to pass on your application. After all it is reasonable that the landlord might change their mind if offered extra rent.

If you can show you are an excellent tenant and have references for your pet, I think many landlords may reconsider no pets.

The property manager cannot ask for extra rent or bond for a pet, but you may offer rent above the asking price I think in the ACT (my rentals are in other states so might be wrong but I think this is the case).

If after all this the property manager refuses to even pass on your application to the landlord, go online and name and shame them with the address of the property. The landlord might just read it, might have had a property sitting empty for a while and be really p***** with the property manager.

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