It’s a dog’s life for renters

NEIL KEENE ; The Sunday Telegraph ; November 11, 2012

IT’S the furry little secret thousands of tenants are keeping from their landlords – but they’ve often got no choice.

Prospective tenants desperate to find accommodation in Sydney either fib about having a pet or are forced to abandon them to shelters.

University of Western Sydney urban studies lecturer Dr Emma Power said with rental vacancy rates at record lows, competition to lease a house or apartment was fierce, even for those without a pet.

“People moving house and not being able to find pet-friendly accommodation is one of the key reasons they will relinquish pets,” she said.

“It’s not something most people take lightly, so you can imagine the kind of stress that is created in making the decision – giving up a pet versus keeping a roof over your family’s head.”

Dr Power is now set to launch a study of 1000 Sydney residents to gauge the difficulties pet owners face when they are looking for a rental house..

“We want to talk to people and see what strategies may have worked for them with finding somewhere to live, which suburbs have the most pet-friendly housing and whether they’ve had to surrender an animal to find a house,” she said.

Real Estate Institute of NSW president Christian Payne said most landlords didn’t allow pets because they created more maintenance issues.

“That’s what a landlord will look at – the cost on their investment,” he said.

But Dr Power cited overseas studies which showed tenants with pets often saved landlords money because they tended to stay longer.

Personal trainer Amelia Burton knows just how hard finding rental accommodation can be with a four-legged friend.

She and husband Tim recently sold their house in Wollstonecraft with plans to rent until they found a place to buy.

“We were rejected from three properties due solely to having a dog,” she said.

With time running out, the couple and their German short-haired pointer Diesel, found somewhere to rent just four days prior to the sale settlement.

“It took three months of serious house-hunting. It was almost like a full-time job,” she said.

Dr Power urges anyone in the Greater Sydney region renting with pets or who has done so previously to complete the study’s online survey atwww.uws.edu.au/rentingwithpets.

Original here…..

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2 Comments

Filed under Abandoned animals, Animals in housing, NSW

2 responses to “It’s a dog’s life for renters

  1. cindie

    Not in Sydney (we live in Melbourne, but we rent and have a very large 60kg dog and 2x cats. We are lucky in having a rental through a private landlord, no real estate agent involved. In our experience it is often the real estate agent recommending not to have tenants with pets. Our landlord asked us to sign an additional agreement stating that any damage was our responsibility (it was anyway). We have been here 3 years and will stay as long as we can – house is not ideal – its too small, but better than finding somewhere less reliable.in our area rental vacancies sit at about 3%…We moved in with just the cats and then asked permission to have a dog- i really wanted my daughter to grow up with a dog like I did and she was already 8 by then. Landlord gave permission with tho damage provisio – even alowed us to erect extra fencing etc. I would also suggest that people who rent with pets are often better tenants as the are more conscious of doing the right thing to keep a roof over their head. I would elect to split my family up rather than lose our dog or cats though… my dog is like my other child.

  2. Renee

    I had to surrender 3 of my dogs in Humboldt County of California this jast july with deep regrets. Im glad to hear i am not alone. Eventho-I feel alone and my only wish is to know my dogs are ok. Its almost thanksgiving and i am unable to find out anything. I am miserable cry morning and night missing my kids. Gardensmoke@yahoo.com

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