Renting with Pets- how to find the perfect rental

home keys for rental

How to convince a landlord to let you keep your pets

Finding a suitable rental property can be a tricky process, especially when you have pets who will be moving along with you. It can be disheartening to think that you could miss out on the perfect rental because the landlord has written those two small, but powerfully heart-breaking words “no pets” in the property description.
cat kitten gray

Should you cross a “No Pets” property off your list? 
No! we believe you should not give up just yet! keep reading for more information…

It’s no fun to go through the painstaking task of moving from your current rental property if you have decided you would like to bring a new pet into your family.

Should you hide your pets from your landlord? 
No! We strongly recommend that you should not hide your pet/s from your landlord. In doing so, if found out you could be evicted, it would be listed on your rental history and finding a rental in the future could prove very tricky.

Read on for our tips on how to secure the perfect property and bring your pets and/or convince your current landlord to let you keep a pet.

Step 1 – Pet Friendly Accommodation

When looking for a rental property in the first place, consider using specialised websites, or websites with advanced search features to narrow your search down to only find properties that are “pet friendly”.

Step 2 – Pet Policy

hare rabbit in coop

If you have fallen in love with a property, before you apply for it contact the real estate agent/landlord and ask them what their pet policy is.
The same can be said for those who are already settled in a rental property. Before you bring your new pet home, call your landlord or real estate agent and have a chat about how they feel about you keeping pets.

After speaking with your agent/landlord, you may find they may prefer not to have large dogs on the property, but may be happy for you to keep a bird or goldfish. They may prefer not to have a pet cat/dog in the house but would be happy with one on the property as long as it lives in an outdoor enclosure.
they may- in fact, not have a problem with your pet at all. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

Take note! It is important to be aware that, in some cases properties have strict restrictions and/or regulations regarding keeping pets, if this is the case the landlord will not be able to grant you access to have a pet,regardless of how they personally feel about the matter. If this is the case, you may have to consider relocating. Alternatively you may decide you would prefer to stay put and not bring your pet to live with you after all.

cat kittens in baskets

Step 3- Pet Housing

Consider how you will house your pet.
Is it an indoor animal; if so- does it have to be?
Does it live outside in a hutch, coop or cage?
Most often the statement “no pets” is added to a rental description as landlords do not want to risk damage and unwanted mess to their properties over time. It is advisable to put some thought into where you will keep your animal, and how you can keep the property neat, tidy and in tact whilst keeping your pet happy and safe.

Some things to consider:

manor cat enclosure
Somerzby Manor Cat Enclosure

Renting with Cats and Dogs

Does your cat/dog need to sleep and/or play inside when you aren’t home to supervise? Or can it sleep and play in a safe, secured backyard enclosure and/or kennel?
Perhaps you could save your lounge some scratch marks and spoil your cat with their very own cozy and comfy outdoor cat enclosure!

The RSPCA Victoria states; “increasingly more people are turning to the use of cat enclosures to keep kitty safe. These enclosures are not cages, but safe and enjoyable areas where your cat can play all day and night without danger to themselves or the wildlife.”

You can buy pre-made, easy to assemble outside cat enclosures here, or you may wish to source an outdoor cat enclosure kit and Do it yourself! Cat Enclosures also come with optional cat runs, and they are a great and easy way to keep your cat safe and your landlord happy.

Step 4- Applying for a rental/Asking permission

When you are ready to apply for a rental or ask your current landlord if you can bring home your new pet, here are some things to consider including in addition to your rental application form:

writing pet contract pet resume

  • Offer a Pet Bond – Offer to pay a higher bond in exchange for allowing your pets to come with you. By paying a little extra the landlord may look more favorably upon your application, as they know that you will do your best to prevent damage to the property so you don’t lose your bond money when the lease is up.
  • Offer to Sign a Pet Agreement – A pet agreement will outline the behaviour and responsibilities appropriate for caring for an animal in the rental premises. This agreement may take the form of a written statement to your Landlord where you agree that you will pay for any and all damages that may be caused to the property by your pet.
  • Include a Pet Resume – create a Resume to introduce your pet and prove that they are well cared for and behaved.
    Things to include:
      • References from any previous Landlords (or even neighbours) to show that your pet was a well behaved ‘tenant’/neighbour.
      • Your pet’s name and breed
      • A photo of your pet
      • Photos of your pets’ home (kennel, coop, hutch, cage or cat enclosure etc)
      • Vaccination status
      • Microchipping information
      • Any obedience or puppy training certificates/courses completed and;
      • relevant medical history.

We have also compiled a list of related resources and templates at the bottom of this article, we hope you find this useful in convincing your landlord to let you keep your pet/s at your rental home.

With a little bit of thought and preparation, you should now be armed with the knowledge and resources you need to navigate the Australian rental market with your pet/s in tow!

Additional Resources

  • Australian Companion Animal Council – A guide for tenants renting with pets
  • Rent With Pets – Sample Pet Resume
  • Australian Companion Animal Council – Pet Application and Agreement Forms


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