• Sarah Minotti

3 pro tips for renting with a furry family member

Finding a rental property that allows pets is HARD!!! Often we're being asked to pay more, to live somewhere that it is less than ideal. Even then, it's a real challenge to secure a rental property. Here at Paws Passport we have talked to renters, private landlords and property managers across the country about renting with pets. Below are our top tips for finding a rental property.

1. Tell your network

Your friends, your work colleagues, tell everyone that you are looking for a place to rent. Remember, pet friendly properties are in hot demand. The truth is there are pet friendly properties that simply get snapped up before they ever reach Trademe. You need to be ahead of the game. Getting your feelers out there through your network is a great way to do this.

Think of it this way; one of your friends tells one of their friends about you. They are needing to fill a vacant rental property. Sure they'll ask some questions about you and if they think you sound ok, you are in a key position and likely to be approached directly. Why? It saves them time, admin and money.

Why go through multiple property viewings and reference checks if someone you trust knows someone who is available to move in?

A couple of landlords we've spoken to have placed tenants with pets this way. They were not looking for someone with a pet. But because they had that connection to the tenant, they felt comfortable allowing one.

2. Look at Properties that are not listed as 'Pet Friendly'

Expand your search! Find a property you like and go and see it. Is there a cat door? Is there signs a pet has been there before? Is it fenced? Introduce yourself to the landlord or property manager. Make a good impression. Ask about your pet and be honest about them. Be ready for rejection but if you don't ask, you don't get. I can assure you, there are people who secure rental properties this way.

You are more likely to have success with this method if you:

  • find a property that has been advertised for a while and you can move in quickly. Income is better than no income for landlords.

  • are able to pay more. If you are willing to pay more rent for the place, you rise up the list. More income is better than less for landlords.

  • are flexible. The more you can meet the landlord's circumstances, the more attractive you are as a potential tenant.

As an example of flexibility, if the landlord is advertising the property now but it won't be available for a month or so, can you wait? If they want to give a room a new lick of paint before people move in - can you offer to move in now and leave that room empty so the painters can come in and paint it?

You need to get creative with how you can overcome 'issues' and make yourself stand out from other potential tenants.

3. Join Facebook Groups

There is a country wide Facebook group for renters with pets as well as groups for specific cities. Simply search 'pet friendly rentals' in Facebook and the groups come up. There are houses listed on here by tenants with pets who are moving out and are trying to help the landlord find new tenants. There are also property managers on here who list pet friendly properties.

My experience of these groups has been really positive. People help each other out with advice and tips. They share their stories about finally securing a house after looking for 6 months. You can't help but be inspired and motivated by this! Join these groups to see properties before they are listed on Trademe and to keep you sane during your hunt!

Happy house hunting and good luck!

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