Every landlord is always looking for the dream tenant. But unfortunately for many hopeful tenants, while that friendly and loyal pooch may be your best friend, your landlord might not agree that pets in strata is a brilliant idea.
It’s a big problem, particularly as Australia has one of the world’s highest rates (62%) of pet ownership just as competition for rental properties goes through the roof.
But try to see it from the landlord’s perspective: with a big pile of applications on their kitchen table, and perhaps even a pet ‘horror story’ or two in their history, you’d almost forgive them for ‘accidentally’ choosing the pet-less renters over you.
But many dog, cat and ferret lovers are fighting back by giving ‘man’s best friend’ a clear voice of its own.
We’re talking about the growing number of prospective tenants who are giving their furry friends a fighting chance of finding a new home by stapling a ‘pet resume’ to their rental application.
It’s no surprise that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how to put together a killer pet resume, but here are some things you might want to consider:
1. Introduce your pet
Start off with the friendliest photo in your pet album and caption it with their name (let’s call him “Max”), age, size and breed. Perhaps even include a happy pet quote like “I can’t wait to move in!”. At the very least, it will incite a giggle and demonstrate you and your pet’s likeable personalities.
2. A referee
Your landlord will definitely want to know how long you’ve had Max, but if you’ve rented before and your previous landlord grew to love him almost as much as you do, try to include them as a ‘referee’.
Another crucial bit of information is about what Max gets up to in the day. If he’s old and sleepy, that’s probably better than a cooped up and energetic sheep dog. If someone is going to be at home with him on most days, that’s a juicy bit of information, and it might also help if you offer to let the landlord ‘visit’ you and Max at your existing house for a cup of coffee.
Trained pets will go to the front of the pet queue in every landlord’s mind, but also be honest: if Max barks when the postman delivers a package to the door, that’s ok to include. Landlords probably prefer cat owners over dog owners, but if your extra family member is of the feline variety, then litterbox and scratching post training is a great pet resume addition.
As well as mentioning that obedience training, also talk about your interactions with Max and how that might help the landlord make a decision in your favour. For instance, active dog breeds will be looked upon more favourably if you walk or jog with them daily, and take them to a dog park to blow off even more energy. And if you go on holiday, pet owners who put a lot of thought into how their pet will be cared for will also get landlord brownie points.
Your pet’s general health and hygiene condition is also important information for a pet resume, and we’re not just talking about whether Max is desexed. Also important is whether you got Max microchipped, whether you get him checked by a vet regularly, and whether you keep him clean and groomed. All this says plenty about Max, but even more about how well you care for him and how generally responsible you are.
Finally, attach any relevant pet-related documents that your landlord may like to see, backing up your claims about desexing, microchipping, and health conditions.
The final word: Do consider a pet resume
The words ‘Pet resume’ may make you giggle and you may even feel a little silly as you put it together, but including one in your application is undoubtedly the easiest way to boost your chances of finding Max a great new pet-friendly rental property. Sure, you might not completely change the mind of a grumpy landlord who hates animals, but you will certainly look good compared to that application that forgets about a pet resume altogether.