Finding a pet friendly rental in NZ is tough. That is a fact. But pets…
Finding a pet friendly rental in NZ is tough. That is a fact. But pets are family members for many kiwis. They bring companionship, comfort, and joy into our lives and, when we move, naturally they will be included in the plan.
For many kiwis, however, the thought of moving, relocating, or being asked to leave their current rental accommodation is enough to make them cry. And leave their pets howling too at the prospect of being left behind.
This blog is geared at helping kiwis find practical solutions and tips on how to boost your chances of finding a new home sweet home that’s purrfect for both your needs and your pets.
Why it’s so Hard to Find a Pet-Friendly Rental
New Zealand has the second-highest rate of pet ownership in the world, just below the United States. We are a nation that thrive of the companionship and love our furry family members provide.
Nearly two thirds of Kiwi households own at least one pet. However, less than a fifth of landlords allow pets, and many of those who do, restrict it to cats and small dogs.
A recent survey by Barfoot & Thompson found that only 14 per cent of rental properties were available for tenants with pets. This causes a huge lack of suitable housing for pet owners, with Auckland and Wellington being the most difficult locations to find rental properties that allow pets.
Dogs can live for up to 20 years, and circumstances change – marriages break up, people lose their jobs or must move for work, and landlords unexpectedly decide to sell their flat. Pet owners in these situations, are often put in the difficult position of finding and secure a pet friendly rental in a highly competitive market.
Rules about Pets in Tenancy Agreements
To help you prepare and stand out from the crowd of eager tenants, we’ve compiled some useful guidelines you can follow when seeking your new pet-friendly home.
Also, make sure you’re aware of the rules that need to be followed in pet friendly tenancy agreements, which you can find here.
Honesty is the best policy and landlords appreciate tenants being straight up. Do not be shy to approach a rental listing that isn’t explicitly pet friendly- if you don’t ask you will never know. Many landlords know that a great tenant with a pet is a bonus. Renters with pets tend to stay longer, are willing to pay a premium and are often fantastic tenants.
What are landlords looking for?
Letting agents and landlords often have a strict criteria they will be checking off. Include as much information as possible in your application. What breed is your pet? How many pets do you have? How old are they? Do they have long or short hair? Do they stay home alone during the day? Where will they sleep? What training has your pet had? Being a responsible pet owner means your pet will have received ongoing training, socialisation and be house trained.
Provide pet references if you can. You could get these from a previous property manager, a neighbour or landlord, your vet, doggy day care or trainer. A photo of the pet, information on its breed, size, personality traits, health, training, microchip number and proof of registration should all be included.
Provide records that show your pet receives regular grooming, nail trims, worm and flea treatment. For an all-inclusive online pet CV and record keeper check out Pawspassport (more information below).
Offer to pay full bond (4 weeks rent in advance). A pet clause can be included in your contract outlining what will happen in the event of any damage.
5 Tips on how to stand out in the crowd.
- Be prepared. Have all the information on hand that will prove your pet is a good tenant.
- Get to know your local agent. Get them onside. Introduce them to your pet.
- Ensure your pet is well mannered, easy to love and house-trained. Keep up to date with your pet care routine and have evidence of this. Sell yourself as a responsible pet owner.
- Tell all your mates and contacts that you are looking for a new place to rent. The more people who keep an eye out for you the better. Cast your net wide and consider approaching rentals that aren’t listed as pet friendly.
- Consider offering a longer lease – property owners value security. Show flexibility and willingness to help make the property more pet friendly. For example, offer to pay for the cost of a cat flap. Offer to put in a clause in the tenancy agreement that states you would cover the cost if any damages incurred by your pet. You can offer to have carpets professionally cleaned when you move out. This could make a huge difference to land lords who are on the fence about renting out to pet owners.
Paws Password- The ultimate record keeper for pet parents!
Sarah and Jazz came up with Paws Passport after a chat at the office about how hard it is to rent with a pet. Property Managers and landlords recommend having a Pet CV but all they could find online was vague word doc templates.
Paws Passport have created a simple one stop place to keep all your pets’ details. Easily available in a digital place, you have instant access to details such as your pet’s age, breed, medical history, training history and size. Paws Passport was created to help pet parents find and secure a rental. The concept is simple “spend more time with your pets and less time on their records’.
For more excellent information check out ‘How do landlords and property managers ‘check’ my pet?’ and ‘Do you really need a Pet CV?’ by Paws Passport.
We welcome Woof- places to help you find pet friendly rentals.
There are some great places to network and find pet friendly accommodation, especially on Facebook. You can also try community notice boards, supermarket notice boards or word of mouth.
Can’t have a pet but still want to spend time with one? Try Share My Pet!
Many kiwis are opting to hold out on welcoming a furry friend into their lives due to renting. The decision to be pet-less is often a hard one but made in favour of putting the pet first. Knowing that many places are not pet friendly means some people are willing to wait until they move onto the property ladder.
However, there’s great news for kiwi animal lovers who crave a furry fix. Pet sharing with NZ company Share My Pet is becoming a perfect solution for many kiwis who want to connect with a pet in a meaningful way.
If you are unable to accommodate a pet in your home, pet sharing allows animal lovers to meet up with a pet for walks, adventures, coffee dates, and so much more. Pet owners create a profile online to share their furry family members with local animal lovers via the Share My Pet website. Pet carers also create a profile and via the messenger system they can connect.
“I’m a huge animal lover that lives in a rental property and am not allowed pets, Share My Pet has been the perfect compromise for me! I go out on dog walks weekly and have been exploring my new hometown in the process. I get lots of four-legged love, the dogs get attention and exercise, and the owners can relax knowing their pet is being well looked after, so a win-win for everyone!”
– Roxy, Pet Borrower from Nelson
We are always ready and available to help you find a purrfect match.
Woofs & Wags
Lili & Dave