The rental market is brutal.
That being the case, the last thing you need is cause for a real estate agent or potential landlord to throw your application in the crap-pile – like, say, the fact you own a pet.
Admitting you live with a small dog or cat or ferret can often mean you’re passed over for a non-pet owner because of an assumption your furry friend will cause irreparable damage to property, regardless of whether that’s true or not.
A recent survey landlords with vacant rental properties, conducted by Property Club, found that a whopping 25% discouraged prospective tenants with any kind of pet (bar fish) from applying, despite the fact 35% of households in NSW alone have a dog, 19% a cat and 9% both a cat *and* a dog.
In rental markets as tight as a cat’s bumhole, like Sydney, that’s a huge handicap when it comes to scoring your dream rental.
But don’t fret: there’s one thing you’ve probably never considered that could put you and your pet in the best possible stead when it comes to applying for rental properties, and that’s a pet resume. A Purriculum Vitae, if you will.
Much like a human CVs, a Pet CV is designed to show your fur baby in the best possible light to ease any concerns a potential landlord might have about their behaviour and your ability to keep the property in tip-top condition.
Skip education and skills (unless your pet has a BA?? Impressive), and instead hone in on important behavioural points that show your forever friend is a) fully house trained, with access to adequate toilet facilities and b) quiet, meaning they’re not likely to bark or meow at all hours of the day and night, disturbing the neighbours’ peace.
List any previous rental experience you and your pet have had, providing references from previous landlords who can (hopefully) substantiate claims your pet has an excellent track record of keeping properties in good nick. Friendly with an old neighbour who used to love looking after Mitzy the Cat when you were overseas? Whack in a sentence or two from them. Did Frodo the Dog earn a Gold Star at obedience school? Attach the participation certificate.
Just as important as proving your pet is an upstanding member of society is proving they’re regularly groomed and in good health. That means attaching copies of microchip and vaccination records, which basically proves flea, tick and worming control is kept up to date, and listing your vet’s name and contact deets.
Andrew Rechtman, Executive General Manager of Residential at realestate.com.au, says this is all important information for a potential landlord or agent to have.
If they are able to see that your pet is regularly health checked, is registered and is micro-chipped, they can have greater confidence that as a responsible pet-owner, you’ll also be a responsible tenant. You might also consider bringing your pet to the inspection so that the agent can verify that the traits that you’ve included in the pet CV are accurate.
Bonus tip for dog owners: if yours is a breed or age especially suited to apartment-living, make that fact abundantly clear. Greenlighting a Chihuahua is a lot more likely than greenlighting a Great Dane.
Once all that’s covered, the last thing to do is provide an extremely cute photograph of your beloved, thus increasing your chances by a further 18-20%*. Because good luck resisting that face.
* There is zero research to back this up.