I have no problems with pets. I'd much rather have an IP rented by a tenant who checks out squeeky clean in a reference check, but can't part with his 4 year old South Mongolian Frizzy-haired Tabby, than someone with no pets who looks a little sus and can't prove a good rental history.
When I worked in real estate, I saw countless examples of investors who had to wear 8 or more weeks of vacancy, just because they had this ridiculous preconceived idea that IP's and pets don't mix.
I agree with Dave, and my approach would be to allow pets, with possibly a restriction on the size (like the doberman of our former neighbour that would try to knock the fence down every time it heard us in the back yard!). The other thing is that you can always put an explicit clause that says damage caused by pets must be paid for.
With regards to pets in investment properties - we have a strict rule up front of no cats or dogs and have never had a property vacant for more than 3 weeks. If pets urinate on carpet it goes through to the backing and the smell can not be removed by steam cleaning. Cats are a nightmare on vertical blinds as their hair actually penetrates the fibre and washing does not remove it, it also weaves its way into carpet fibres. They also cough and sneeze all over the lower walls - Yuck! Fleas also lay eggs ready for the next tenant! Dogs tend to jump up on doors and their claws scratch the glass or other material and replacement is needed. Yards are often ruined by dogs running up and down fence lines and digging holes everywhere. Timber work gets chewed. We have over the years made some exceptions - one being a long term very responsible tenant wanting a small dog which worked out well. The other was a decision we regretted as with all the assurances of dogs being outside, the carpet was stinking by the end of tenancy - yes, 2 German Shepherds and another small dog had been allowed to come inside on the carpet. Would you want your small child to crawl around on carpet used by other peoples pets as beds? That is what I keep in mind. Birds, small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs and goldfish if children wish to have an animal seem to be ok. I am sure there are many lovely pet owners and don't get me wrong I love animals but from having been through hundreds and hundreds of Defence houses in the last 10 years it is a risk I am not willing to take. I guess there is always that tenant as mentioned with the "squeaky clean reference" who owns a dog that you would consider.
I think that pets are ok but it is a good idea to add a pet clause to the lease specifying the terms under which you agree to let the tenant keep a pet on the premises eg 1 dog outside only. Also you may only allow mature pets ie dogs or cats over 2 years of age. These things can make a difference.
I once had a tenant with a number of cats that we had not agreed to. The agent served her notice and now she's history.
We just sold our apartment and intend to rent for a couple of years (or until we find a freakin' steal in Sydney).
BUT my eldest daughter's 2y.o. Russian Blue is an indoor cat that doesn't shed (much - I have a cat allergy). So now I have to find a pet friendly landlord. I'll offer to pay for cleaning and fumigation on lease end. But we were planning to have carpets cleaned every 6 months anyway.
That cat makes nowhere near the mess a two year old child makes.
....I'm sitting here laughing...a thread which started off asking about
pets and IP's has now become an arena where pets and children are being
compared. I can't help but laugh. What's next?
How about we put a clause in the lease authority excluding Sagittarian
men from being considered due to their spontaneous and outgoing
personality....just in case they get a 'brain fart' and decide to paint
the place bright yellow?
At the end of the day, 1/3 of all residential dwellings are rented by
normal people - some of whom own dogs, cats, rabbits and, shock horror,
even have toddlers. Someone's gotta house 'em!
Upside?...there are so many landlords turning them down, they may even
be willing to pay higher than normal rent...
>That cat makes nowhere near the mess a two year old child makes.
If you think a two year old makes a mess, take two teenagers mucking around and crashing through a wall, creating a huge hole in the plaster! I guess whether we talk about pets, kids, teenagers, it all comes down to making sure that the tenant pays for the damage in the end.
When we bought our first home, the previous owners had a small dog. The house was very well maintained, and there was no sign that a dog had lived there.
After a couple of weeks of living in the house, both my wife and I started getting these small, red, and very itchy spots on our feet and lower legs.
It became quite unbearable, until someone who knows things took one look and said... "fleas".
Apparently when an animal is around, the fleas quite happily feed of the animal and lay eggs and live a very happy life, generally ignoring the humans.
But when their food supply (the animal) leaves... they all die. Then the eggs start hatching and the only food source they can find is us humans, and so they start on us.
It's all a bit scary and reminds me of an Aliens movie, and it certainly was very uncomfortable ! But a few well placed flea-bombs (couldn't get Sigourney to come at such short notice), fixed the problem.
When we bought our house the tenants that were living there had 2 Pitbull Terriers, a huge tropical fishtank, a rabbit in a hutch hanging on the back fence and a Cockatoo in a cage under the pergola, all in a 2 bedroom terrace. The place stunk and dogs had wiped there arses all around the place so there was a dirty mark knee-high all around in nearly every room. The backyard had been concreted and a Cyclone fence put down the middle to act as a kennel. A friend with a carpet cleaning business said it was the worst carpet he had ever cleaned. This was all in addition to the motorbike parts all through the house (think Yellowpages ad!!). I guess the landlord didn't know what property inspections were. No pets in my IP's that's for sure.