Tips for a Paw-sitive and Responsible Renting with Pets

Renting a home can be a challenge for pet owners in many parts of the world, and New Zealand is no exception. However, with the right knowledge and understanding of the rental market, it is possible to find a pet-friendly rental property that suits both you and your furry companion. In this article, we will explore the current state of renting with pets in New Zealand, provide valuable tips to help pet owners navigate the rental process, and discuss the implications of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Understanding the Challenges

Finding a suitable rental property that allows pets can be difficult. Many landlords and property managers are hesitant to allow pets due to concerns about potential damage, noise, and liability. Additionally, a significant number of rental properties have pet restrictions imposed by body corporates or rental agreements. However, it is important to note that the situation is gradually improving, with more landlords recognizing the benefits of renting to responsible pet owners.

The Residential Tenancies Act, which governs the landlord-tenant relationship in New Zealand, does not specifically address pets, but it does require that any pet-related terms be included in the tenancy agreement. This means that landlords have the discretion to allow or disallow pets on their properties, and it’s crucial for pet owners to understand and respect the rules set forth by individual landlords or property managers.

Tips for Renting with Pets

Earlier is always better

Begin your search for a pet-friendly rental well in advance. It may take longer to find a suitable property, so starting early will give you more time and flexibility.

Formally introduce with a pet resume 

Presenting a well-documented pet resume can help you make a positive impression on landlords. Include information about your pet’s breed, size, age, vaccination history, training, and references from previous landlords or neighbours.

Offer a pet bond

Consider offering to pay an additional pet bond to alleviate any concerns landlords may have about potential damage. This shows your commitment to taking responsibility for your pet’s actions.

Obtain references

Gather references from previous landlords or property managers who can vouch for your responsible pet ownership. These references can help demonstrate that your pet is well-behaved and will not cause issues.

Provide insurance

Having pet insurance can provide landlords with peace of mind, as it can cover any potential damage or liability that may arise from your pet’s actions.

Demonstrate good behaviour

Show your potential landlord that you are a responsible pet owner by providing evidence of your pet’s obedience training and behavioural history.

Offer to pay for professional cleaning

Assure the landlord that you will cover the cost of professional cleaning upon vacating the property to address any concerns about cleanliness and hygiene.

Communicate openly

Be honest and transparent with landlords about your pet. Provide them with the opportunity to meet your pet and address any questions or concerns they may have.

The Importance of Responsible Pet Ownership

To increase the chances of finding a pet-friendly rental, it is vital to demonstrate responsible pet ownership. This includes properly training and socializing your pet, providing regular veterinary care, and ensuring they are well-behaved and respectful of the property. Responsible pet ownership not only benefits you and your pet but also helps to change negative perceptions that some landlords may have about renting to pet owners.

Negotiating with Landlords

When discussing the possibility of renting with pets, be prepared for negotiations. Landlords may have concerns about potential damage, noise, and other issues. Show your commitment by offering compromises such as paying an additional pet bond, covering the cost of professional cleaning, or even including specific clauses in the tenancy agreement regarding pet-related responsibilities and restrictions. It is important to strike a balance between advocating for your pet’s needs and respecting the concerns of the landlord.

Renting with pets may present challenges, but it is not impossible. By following the tips mentioned above and being a responsible pet owner, you can increase your chances of finding a suitable rental property that accommodates your furry friend. While the Residential Tenancies Act does not specifically address pets, understanding and respecting the individual rules and requirements set forth by landlords or property managers is crucial. With perseverance, patience, and a proactive approach, you can find a pet-friendly rental and provide a loving home for both you and your beloved pet.