Tenants with animals

Animal tenants

What do people think of tenants having animals?

I would prefer not, but, due to a misunderstanding (or a manipulation) a tenant now has a cat.

PM has suggested a carpet clean as a condition of lease renewal- fair enough. But, can cats, for instance, scratch up paintwork?

Tenant has also asked for a cat door- I've said OK, provided the provide their own door, and store my original door- so that the cat door does not remain a permanent feature- possibly turning off other tenants.

But some landlords say that allowing pets is a good way of increasing your tenant base and rentability.
 
I was having a discussion with a friend about this over a few beers, and I suggested what was wrong with permitting pets so long as they stay outside the house.

My friend's argument is that once you allow the pet onto the premises at all its hard to police whether it will be in the house or not, therefore most landlords prefer to say no pets whatsoever.


I guess an analogy is like Smoking breaks at work. If you allow everyone 10 minutes, people are going to exceed it without it being that obvious. If you don't allow smoking breaks at all, it's very obvious when the rule is violated.

How would your insurance stack up on animal-related damage?
 
This is definitely an animal which has the run of indoors and outdoors.

That's why my question as to whether cats might use a nicely painted inside wall as a scratching post.

And another potential danger. I know someone who blocked up their toilet big time by putting kitty litter down the loo.

And that was in premises they owned themselves.

Outdoors, it has a pleasant garden, where the previous owner had done much to attract birdlife. I much prefer native wildlife to domestic animals, so another (personal) reason for discouraging cats.

If I was really nasty minded, I would just hope that the cat will stroll out over the mound onto the busy road behind.
 
Geoff,

Just as well that you're not nasty minded- imagine if that cat meets with an accident?! I'd be saying yes to a cat door, on the condition that the original door is restored to it's original position when they vacate - good idea there. Cleaning and fumigating the floor coverings should also be a condition (but get it signed by them in writing- don't just take their word).

I'm not a cat lover myself (make me sneeze actually) and I was recently unimpressed when I found one of my tenants had both a cat and a dog, both approved by the PM, unknown to me!!

Well, I could hardly kick the tenant out so I did the following:

1. Rang the PM to express my disappointment (she claimed she told me so it's her word against mine) and that I don't wish for it to happen again.

2. Wrote a letter to the tenant, advising them that, though they were keeping pets, I was not aware of it. However, under the circumstances, I would keep them on as long as they were aware that they were responsible for any damage caused by the animals. I had them sign the letter of permission and post it back directly to me.

In my special conditions (which I attach to the back of all my leases now) I have one that states PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED EXCEPT WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE LANDLORD. I also added this condition to the Management Agreement, so the PM was fully aware. She just chose to be ignorant.

I sympathise with you, Geoff, but can only suggest that, like me, you have learnt from this experience and it won't happen again. Have pets? Then I won't take you on. It's my property- my decision. The other option for all those pet lover landlords is to advertise a property with two rents- a levy for those who want pets.

Hope this has been of some help :)
 
all those pet lover landlords is to advertise a property with two rents- a levy for those who want pets
Hey, that's a nice idea Jacque...

It would pick up the market of those who have pets, where they cannot find any place to stay- and who would be willing to pay extra for the privilege.

Hehe, I just remembered, next door there's a dog breeder with lots of yappy little dogs. What a happy little cat the tenant will have.
 
I remember in my Residental Tenancy Lectures, the lecturer , made a special point about the fact that it is not legal to stop a tenant from keeping animals on the property.

Now before you all jump on me saying that that "My lease says" and "my property manager said"... I know what is in leases, and I know what property managers tell ppl, but I am just telling you what is in the legislation. (I would probably put a no-pet clause in a lease too, just for it's bluff factor!!)

There is nothing in the legislation that prohibits pets. The only thing that can stop pets is a local law, ie: if they have 4 dogs and the council says 2 dogs, you can get them to remove 2 dogs.

If a tenant takes the matter to the tribunal they will win. Unless the pets are damaging the property, then the tenant can be ordered to make restitution...

The lecturer I had was a consultant to the Residential tenancies tribunal...

All I can say is thank goodness 99% of tenants don't realise that a no-pets clause is unenforceable...

(Please remember, this is RE: VIC Legislation, and all usual disclaimers apply)

asy :D
 
Hi

Being a pet owner myself (Rottweiller) and knowing the difficulties in finding suitable accomodation when we were in the throes of being 'in between' homes, the idea of having different rent rates definitely has merit.

When we moved to Brisbane, the only IP's that would allow pets weren't much better than dog kennels themselves, and we would have gladly paid extra for the opportunity to rent a 'decent' place.

Having said that, after much perserverance, we did find a place (new would you believe) that after some serious sucking up to the landlord and promising the world etc were permitted to move in.

I had to replace large tracts of turf and repair small excavations that my sweet 'little' dog had lovingly left for me....but it was well worth the 'sucking up factor'.

Peter
 
PM tells me that I am not allowed to specify a different rent for different people.

The cottages are small- 3 cottages on a small block- so generally are unsuitable for anything large- and generally appeal to people on a smaller budget (students particularly)- who generally are not as likely to have pets.

But I can specify "No pets"- and if anyone does want pets, negotiate from there.

It's an existing lease- so I have to approve the pets in writing, allowing the variation of the lease so that a clause is added allowing a cat.

The so-called "Cat clause".
 
Animal antics

My parents faced the "no pets" issue last year. They had to rent for a few months while their new house was being built in an outlying regional area of Victoria.

We think the fact that they were first time renters after 40 odd years as owner/occupiers may have turned things in their favour (plus the pets in question were both geriatric, but not incontinent).

We've also rented ourselves and were permitted to bring our cats along.

But getting back to my parents, they would have been prepared to pay a modest "premium" to deffray any additional cleaning costs.

Maybe it's worth considering the pet clause if it means securing a reliable long-term tenant?

I guess it gets down to the tenants themselves and how thoroughly they are screened by property managers. Some people live like animals, pets or no pets.:p
 
Hi,

What about a levy?

The idea is you charge the same rent, but have a "pet levy" say 10% of rent.

That way you are not being bias (you charge the same rent for everyone), but the levy covers extra wear and tear?

You may even research the cost of boarding kennels and use this as a basis to justify the levy "market" cost. Without the personal attendance of course.

What about a pet bond?

Michael G
 
A reply to the first post - do cat's scratch paintwork? No. No. and No. They will scratch the carpet though if you have it. My strategy is to allow small pets only ie small dogs and cats and specify that the carpet must be professionally cleaned to erase any "evidence" of pets indoors. This has worked well so far as most people where I have my property have pets ie families with kids. Speaking of which - is it possible to have a "child" levy? I find that small humans do much more damage than small animals!
 
Hi all,

Interesting thread - thanks for starting it Geoff.

So what about small dogs and cats where the house has polished floors ?

Could you put a condition in about re-polishing floors if there are scratches ?

Would there be another alternative ?


PIppety
:p
 
G'day

We built to rent an 'executive' 4 bedder, and the first and all subsequent tenants have had either a dog or a cat. OK by us, and all the tenants have been professional people who have had paid domestic help.

We refenced the other, older mission brown house and told the property manager to welcome people with pets. The first tenants bred exotic birds and stayed more than five years, the current young couple bought a dog after they moved in, and maintain the property very well. They pay an extra $15 per week as 'rent' for the dog, and there are cleaning and flea bombing clauses in the lease.

I would not hesitate to 'allow' pets, but they must be named and specified so that the pet population doesn't get out of hand.

Cheers

Kristine
 
Pets Or No Pets

i guess i must be one of the lucky ones that my tenant pays me an extra $50 dollars in rent every week.

he fix up the the garden as well cos his mate is a landscaper.

he replaced the carpet out of his own pocket every 4 yrs and he even painted the whole place 3 times over the years
i was really impressed with it been there a few times just to check up nothing else the place was maintain better than my own

they have been there for more than 10 yrs now and i have not pull out a cent in doing any repairs over the years

so you just have to try your luck cos you never know you might get lucky with pet owners.

regards
Jerry
 
This link was previously posted by someone else (in the old fourm) which I found very useful.

http://www.petnet.com.au/rent/tenants.html

Off the subject a little, some forum members have had tenants in their IP for 'a long time'. I am just interested to hear anyone who have had very long term tenants.

One situation I know off, the tenant(s) lasted for ten years and paid the same rent amount, $165 pw from start to finish. I don't know much more then that and I am assuming that this I.P. owner must have had just the one I.P. (like 5% of the pop.) to keep the same tenant and rent amount for that long.

Danny D.
 
I guess the time comes when the landlord insists something be done about pets which are no longer welcome in the property.

He could insist the cat gets an operation. A catnip.

Or the animal might have to be moved into the tenant's vehicle. A Car pet.

The dog has to leave, doggone. Disembarked.

And the parrot? Of course. Polygon.
 
Aggressive dogs

Hi Jerry,
One of my tenants moved into my property with two dogs - without my approval. I wasn't fazed by the cute little doggy but the aggressive pit bull cross made me very nervous.
What are our obligations, as landlords, if the dog attacks a child/person on our property?
Could we be sued?
Regards,
Crystal
 
I remember in my Residental Tenancy Lectures, the lecturer , made a special point about the fact that it is not legal to stop a tenant from keeping animals on the property.

Now before you all jump on me saying that that "My lease says" and "my property manager said"... I know what is in leases, and I know what property managers tell ppl, but I am just telling you what is in the legislation. (I would probably put a no-pet clause in a lease too, just for it's bluff factor!!)

There is nothing in the legislation that prohibits pets. The only thing that can stop pets is a local law, ie: if they have 4 dogs and the council says 2 dogs, you can get them to remove 2 dogs.

If a tenant takes the matter to the tribunal they will win. Unless the pets are damaging the property, then the tenant can be ordered to make restitution...

The lecturer I had was a consultant to the Residential tenancies tribunal...

All I can say is thank goodness 99% of tenants don't realise that a no-pets clause is unenforceable...

asy :D

That percentage may be down somewhat these days.
 
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