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Pet-friendly may be investor-friendly too

With recent research finding that just one in four new investors will allow tenants to have pets, there may be an untapped market for those struggling to reduce vacancies for their property, according to Mortgage Choice.

With just 24% of investors that intend to buy over the next two years found to be planning to allow tenants with pets, those sitting with properties vacant may want to consider a different approach, the 2013 First Time Property Investors Survey has revealed.

Of all the states and territories the results were fairly close, with those from South Australia most likely to allow pets, 25%. This steadily decreased to Western Australia, with the smallest number willing, at 22%. This comes as investors' fears over tenant vacancies may just be being realised.

Mortgage Choice's general manager - group marketing and communication, Melissa McCarney, said that for renters who have pets there is obviously an additional hurdle to jump through, making it likely that finding properties that allow their animals is high on the list.

"Interestingly, of those respondents who will allow pets, 15% were looking to purchase a small apartment as their first investment property. Renters should be mindful that while a landlord may be accepting of pets, whether or not they are allowed in a property will ultimately depend on how the property is managed as, for example, a strata group could rule that pets are not allowed to live in a property," McCarney said. 

First time investor Fabio De Castro said that he allows pets into his investment properties and that it was an easy decision.

"I myself am a pet owner so I understand the connection that someone can form with an animal and how difficult it can often be to find a place to rent that will allow pets," said De Castro.

"Given that not many landlords offer pet-friendly properties, I have the advantage of reaching a broader demographic of tenants, which is especially important in the family orientated neighbourhood that my investment property is located," he said. 

"By allowing pets, my property is more likely to attract longer-term tenants as the property will feel more 'homely' where a pet is permitted. I also find pet owners are often very reliable as they are used to the responsibility of looking after their pet and this trait bodes well for the landlord."

The survey asked 1,019 respondents about their investment intentions.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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