2019 is set to be a big year for the rental landscape in Victoria, as the RentFair reforms come into play from 1 July 2020. One of the most notable changes will be the laws surrounding pets in rental properties. Currently uncommon on the rental market, landlords will soon be required to relax the rules around four legged friends in their investments. In today’s blog, Think Property & Co offer our top tips on preparing your investment for furry tenants, and explain how you can take measures to ensure the new laws won’t impact the condition of your investment property. What’s more, as tenants with pets become more commonplace in the market, homes that are better designed with furry friends in mind may be able to command a higher rental figure.
Consider Dark Carpets or Hard Floor
If your property has white or cream coloured carpets, now could be the time to switch to hard flooring or darker carpets. Pets often have accidents or become unwell, and can stain light coloured carpets causing unrectifiable damage. Darker carpets hide stains better, while hard floors allow much easier cleaning and could mean your investment property is able to withstand the impact of tenants with pets for longer.
If your home has a garden or balcony, taking steps to secure the space could generate demand for your property among pet-owning tenants. Ensure that holes in fences are sealed, and that balconies have sufficient safety features to protect pets from falling.
If your property is furnished, finding ways to protect your furnishings from scratching and toileting accidents could lengthen the lifespan of your couches, chairs and rugs. Sometimes plastic covers or protecting sprays can deter pets from destroying your belongings.
Choose Dark Curtains and Blinds
Curtains and blinds are popular victims for playful house pets. Opting for shorter or darker curtains could protect them from damage, or you may decide that shutters are more appropriate if you’ll soon be welcoming fur families to your rental.
As a non-pet owner, you might not be aware of the ways to protect your property. The best way to approach the situation is to foster an open dialogue with your property manager and tenant about the property and the pet(s) in question. By addressing issues and expressing a willingness to make things easier for your tenant’s pet, you establish mutual respect and agree to work together to make the home as pet-friendly as possible.
Explain Why your Property is Pet Friendly
When you have established ways to make your rental property more pet friendly, work with your property manager to express these features in the copy associated with your rental listing. If you’ve got a pet friendly garden or a balcony big enough to house a rabbit hutch, engage a qualified copywriter to express this for you in your listing. Not all properties are pet-appropriate, so identifying how yours is fur-friendly could mean more tenants at your open for inspections.
Think Property & Co will be working with all landlords to navigate all changes detailed in the rent reforms, and ensure you’re kept in the loop with what you need to do. We’ll not only help you understand the changes and your new responsibilities, we’ll come up with ways to use them to maximise your property’s potential.