RENTING WITH PETS, BECAUSE THEY'RE FAMILY!
We understand that pets are family, so why is it so hard to find a rental that allows your fur-child to stay too? With the rental market as competitive as it is, there is no wonder pet owners are finding it extra hard to find a pet-friendly rental they can call home. Don't be disheartened! Believe it or not, renting with pets is totally achievable. Here’s POP’s top tips on how to secure a rental with your furry friend.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY, YES REALLY
OK, we get it... it's hard not to tell a few porkies when you've just locked eyes on your dream rental but it says 'No Pets Allowed'. Let's think practically here, the last thing you want is to have to hide your dog from your neighbours, walk only at night in your hood and frantically de-pet your pad when the landlord comes knocking (talking from experience). Honesty is an important value to have, especially when renting. Landlords are normal people, like you and me, so tell them you love their house and you can see yourself living their long term with your family (fur-baby included). They may just be more inclined to accept the tenant having a pet on-site - at the end of the day, you won’t know until you ask!
LET'S TALK BOUNDARIES
This one applies a little more for dogs, but cat owners, listen up too. Put yourself in your landlord's shoes for a moment - they've spent money on their rental to make it homely and at the very least, rentable... the last thing they want is a huge bill at the end of your contract to replace a carpet, wallpaper, landscape the garden and replace the furniture. A 4-week bond doesn't usually cover that, even if the landlords insurance will. So, be clear what rules you set out for your pet and that you take damage control seriously. We recommend crate training your dog to ensure nothing can go wrong whilst you're out at work. It creates a safe, den-like environment for doggo and also prevents any 'accidents'.
BOTH PARTIES CAN COMPROMISE A LITTLE
Here are things you can offer and compromise in order for your pet to live with you all whilst showing the landlord that you are a responsible tenant and pet owner:
Landlords may ask for the full 4 weeks bond (ugh) so make sure you are prepared to fork out a little more than expected.
Legally, you can't pay more than 4 weeks bond, but there's nothing to say you can't raise the rent by say, 10 bucks a week...
Ask if they would like to inspect the house more often than what is stated in the terms. This could mean a house inspection every three months, but if you've got nothing to hide, there isn't anything to worry about, plus - the landlord will probably only do that for the first 6 months until they realise what a GREAT tenant you are.
Offer to pay for a professional cleaner when you move out of the house. Even if this is a verbal agreement, shake on it. It means a lot.
Ask if the landlord and property manager if they would like to meet your pet. Just make sure the more energetic dogs get a good run around at the park before stopping by, as they may fall head over heels with Fido. Love at first sight.
IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET
So, you've been scrolling through Trade Me for the past hour, you've widened your search three times to the middle of nowhere but nothing in the pet-friendly section fits the bill. Now is the time to start messaging those private listings. It doesn’t hurt to ask, what do you have to lose? You're going to need a great opening message - so talk openly about your job, your partner/family... your intentions (are you looking to find something closer to the city or are you looking for a family home to settle down in?), tell them how much you love their house and that you can see yourself living there. Tell them about what your routine looks like - do you take your dog to work? Do you work from home at all? What do you have in place in the form of pet care?
Just like you, your pet will need some good references. It's key for any landlord to say yes! You can gather some references from the following:
Your last landlord, providing you left on good terms, it's fair enough that they can write a quick reference to say that your pet isn't a trouble-maker.
Your vet, just to say that your dog is in good health and has always had good manners whenever they have visited in the past
Your dog walker/cattery supervisor - this not only shows that you take your pet care seriously and that when you go away your pet is looked after and not left to their own devices.
A dog trainer... it may have been a while since your dog went to puppy school but who cares, they know your dog and that counts for something!
GET YOUR PET CV SORTED
Writing and creating a CV for a job application is really important to show off certain skill and traits and we believe it is no different when looking for a property to rent. Creating a CV for your dog or cat gives the landlord a really great idea of their behaviour and a little insight into their personality. Don't forget to add photos! Good luck!