Top tips for renting with pets

If you’re a pet owner looking for a rental property, here are some tips to help you find a friendly property and negotiate about any additional furry tenants.

1. Ask!

Many people don’t take this obvious step, particularly if a property isn’t listed as pets allowed.  So don’t be discouraged – and ask the question (just remember to respect the answer).

2. Offer more rent

Tenants offering more rent to cover furry flatmates found that landlords and property managers were more amenable to a compromise. So if a few extra dollars is possible for you and means you can have that all important extra roomie, make that clear to your property manager and sweeten the deal.

3. Prepare pet references

It’s not unreasonable for a landlord to seek assurances that every inhabitant of their property will treat it with due care. While we can’t have pets sign on the dotted line, we can give enough details and context about our pets that a property manager can feel confident about renting to you.

Create a pet reference that includes the pet’s age, temperament, the fact that they’re up to date with vaccinations, that they’re microchipped, desexed, and so on. You may also want to include character references for your pet from a previous property manager, vet or anyone who can credibly speak to your pets behaviour and be contacted to confirm.

4. Keep thorough records

Retain vaccination certificates, vet receipts and other pet paperwork, so you can easily produce them if required. You can also share these with your property manager regularly to give them peace of mind about your pets health and status. Making the effort will remind them you’re a caring renter and pet owner.

5. Pets-eye view

Think of your furry friend. Would you want to live in a one bedroom apartment with no backyard if you were a dog? Your property search should be for you and your pet, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find the perfect pad to accommodate you both.

6. Have a trial period

If your landlord or property manager isn’t fully convinced, see if they’re open to a trial period of a few months (which you should both document in writing). They can see how your pet is doing in the property, and you can make adjustments to the lease and agreements as required.

7. Choose carefully

If you’re already in a rental property and thinking about getting a pet, be aware of the space around you. Perhaps a goldfish is a better idea than a golden retriever.

8. Get agreements in writing

If you agree to pay a little more to have your pet, or you’re trialling it out for a short period, get the agreed terms in writing with your property manager. If there’s any confusion or disputes down the track, everyone can defer to those documents. You can draw up a separate Pet Agreement that outlines all terms and your responsibilities.

9. Commit to clean

You can offer to removed all trace of your pet’s presence when you leave. While you’re already obligated to clean a property when you depart, it could help you get your pet over the threshold if you provide commitments to deep cleaning carpets, flea treatments and deodorising.

Don’t forget to use the pet-friendly search filter when hunting for properties on

Finally, remember that it’s not always the landlord’s decision. Strata and communal laws may prohibit or restrict animals in a property, even if the landlord doesn’t mind.