Thursday, October 20, 2016

With pets or without?… That is the question!

The pet industry is booming! Collectively Australians spend over $8 billion* on their pets or 'fur babies' every year, and with new products and services becoming available almost daily, it's no wonder this is such a growing industry. With organic health foods for dogs, doggy day care and pet retreats becoming the norm, the days of pets spending the day in the backyard kennel are long gone. There are even seatbelts for when pets travel!

With over 63% of Australian households 
owning pets, this trend has me thinking, what impact will this have on property investors 
and lease agreements?

Traditionally we've seen 'no pets' as a standard term as pet horror stories made their way around the investment circles. Nation-wide this has been a strict approach taken by many investors to ensure their asset is protected.

With 'pet bonds' now not possible under current legislation, it's a tricky situation for many landlords, and they are left asking the question, "Do I advertise with pets, or without?'

In many metropolitan cities, pets are increasingly blending into the way people live their lives, from being in attendance at brunch on the weekends, to dog parks popping up on every corner... perhaps the traditional view of 'no pets' is quickly becoming outdated.

So the question we're asking around our office is how limiting will the 'no pets' condition be in the future? Will the property applicant pool halve if this trend continues? Or even quarter? 

For those investors who may consider broadening their view on pets (after reading an article on wine tours for pets, I'm now one of them) we can be comfortable with the knowledge that there are options available to us. Many landlord insurance providers do cover pet damage, but as always, check the fine print. This offering provides investors with a level of comfort should damage be caused by animals during a tenancy. 

Another common phrase Toop&Toop use when advertising a property is 'pets negotiable'. This ensures that we can appeal to both groups, ensuring our investors are capturing all interested parties before deciding which way to proceed.

Of course, every property is different and some have more limitations than others. Some properties simply might not be appropriately set up for pets now, or in the future, while others might be restricted by their body corporate preventing occupants from having pets. 

However, we do suggest putting this firmly on your radar next time your lease agreement comes up for renewal, and discussing it with your property manager. The pet trend is growing at a rapid rate, and we feel it is important to be aware of this changing consumer behaviour, especially if it means keeping a wide pool of applicants interested in your property.

For more information, or to chat anything investment, give our team a call today!

*January 2016, Australian pet ownership statistics

Suzannah Toop

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