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Advice from a Property Manager on renting with pets

Updated: Oct 7

We're passionate about supporting pet parents on their journey to find and secure a place to live. Renting with pets is tough! It's even tougher if you're not sure of the process or don't know how to stand out from the crowd.


Earlier this year, we met up with Ruby Housing Property Management owner Kim Willems to talk about renting with pets. Based in Christchurch, Ruby Housing was established by Kim in 2003. Kim is a pet owner herself and has first-hand experience renting with a pet due to the quakes. We sat down with Kim at a local cafe to talk about the rental market in Christchurch and what people with pets can do to make themselves more attractive to property managers and landlords.


About how many of the rental properties under Ruby Housing are pet friendly?

About 40% of the properties we manage are pet friendly. We follow a strict vetting process for our tenants with pets because we want to ensure a positive experience for the tenant, their pet/s and the property owner.

What does your vetting process involve?

Our vetting process allows us to find responsible pet owners a place to call home.

Our first condition is that the pet is de-sexed. It’s important for us to know one dog or cat won’t turn into 5. Sometimes there are valid reasons for not having your pet neutered and we’re happy to talk this through with potential tenants.

Secondly, the pet (where applicable) must be registered with the Council. We use this as an indication of behaviour as a responsible pet owner follows the rules and registers their pet with the appropriate authority.

Finally, if the pet is canine, we meet the dog/s at our office to make sure they are well trained and socialised. We will also contact previous landlords to check how the tenancy went and if there were any issues. If potential tenants and their pets meet these conditions, we are happy to work with them.

What advice would you give renters with pets looking to secure a rental property?

Renting with pets is hard and the more pets you have the harder it is. Tenants really need to consider this before adding pets to their family.


At the end of the day, we are looking for quality tenants. We want tenants who follow the rules and respect the property they are living in. If your pet causes damage – get it fixed. Be reasonable. If your dog digs up the lawn or if your cat leaves scratch marks, fix them. Property owners who have a positive experience renting to people with pets are likely to rent to people with pets again. They’re also more likely to encourage others to do so. This is how we can grow the number of pet friendly rental properties in NZ.

What do you think of people providing a Pet CV for their animals?

It's very helpful! A Pet CV is a great way to give property owners important information about a pet. Providing this information injects the tenant’s application with personality and provides context for their pet. Property owners are much more likely to approve of Fred, a friendly huntaway who loves to swim than 'a dog'.


Want more information on Pet CVs?

We are currently working on our digital Pet CV!

Launching in November this year, you will be able to access, edit and share your pet's CV with potential landlords and property managers from Open Homes!

Interested? Read more about our digital product and sign-up to our Product Waitlist to be notified when our digital Pet CV is available. We won't spam you.


Here's to more pet friendly properties in 2020!

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