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7 Questions Answered about Pets & Rental Properties

Wondering if you should allow pets in your investment property? The Ouwens Casserly Property Management team have put together the most frequently asked questions that our team receives from landlords.

1. What checks are completed if an applicant applies with a pet?

Once the property manager has received an application, we will complete a full reference check on the applicants. This will include a call to any previous property management agency or private landlord to get a full rundown on their history. We will be checking how they maintained the property, including the gardens, and will confirm if any pets residing at the property during the tenancy. If there was a pet at the property, we will then ask further questions about any recorded damages to the property or gardens, any evident pet smells etc. We also stipulate on our application forms that we need to know the full details of the pets (age, breed, de-sexed etc.) and where possible ask that the applicant provide photos and a pet reference to assist with the processing.

2. Are we allowed to obtain a pet bond?

Under the Residential Tenancy Act for South Australia, unfortunately, we are not allowed to ask for or hold a pet bond. The government has put forward that the legislation is to be reviewed, however, in Adelaide this change has not yet been legislated.

3. WIll I get more rent by allowing pets?

Having pets by negotiation will increase the number of possible applicants and may therefore limit the time on the market and increase the potential to achieve a higher rental return.

4. What happens if the pets do any damage to the property during the tenancy?

Ongoing routine inspections are conducted and the condition of the property during the tenancy is checked during these inspections.

If during the routine inspections we find any damage caused by a pet at the property, we will ask that the damage be repaired immediately. The pet clause that is put in place and signed by the tenant at the commencement of the lease clearly outlines the responsibility of the tenant for damages, smells etc. so this assists with enforcing any work required.

5. What happens if there is damage evident at the end of the tenancy?

Your property manager will conduct a property condition report at the commencement of the tenancy. This report will comprehensively note the condition of the property and will include detailed photos. When the tenancy ends, the tenant will be required to return the property in a condition as close as possible to that of the condition noted on the inbound inspection. If any damages are evident at the final inspection, the tenant will be liable for the costs of repair. Any unpaid invoices will be deducted from the tenants bond.

6. Will our landlord insurance cover me for any damage by pets that exceed the bond?

As there are different insurance companies on the market, it will depend on the cover you have in place. Some policies are now covering pet damage for both approved and unapproved pets.

7. What happens when an unapproved pet is found to be residing at the property?

If a tenant brings a pet into the property without the landlords’ approval, there are a few options you can take. If you decide that you would like to allow the pet to remain at the property, the first thing the property manager will need to do is have a pet clause put in place and signed by the tenant.

If you would prefer that the pet does not remain at the property, the property manager will issue a Form 2 notifying the tenant that the pet must be removed and that an inspection will be conducted to ensure this has occurred. At the inspection, the property will be checked to ensure that the pet is removed and if it hasn’t been the next step is to apply to SACAT to have an order put in place.

If you have additional questions about pets and your rental property, feel free to get in touch with us. Considering renting out your property? The Ouwens Casserly Property Management team offer free appraisals – feel free to book with us via this form.

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