New data from Rent.com.au shows that as you go trick-or-treating this Halloween with the kids, only one in 10 rental properties is likely to greet you with a festively-dressed dog or cat.

The survey of 70,000 properties using Rent.com.au has revealed that whilst renters often think their pet is a treat, landlords are much warier of tricks, with just 10% of rental homes labelled as pet-friendly.

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But the data also reveals a major opportunity for renters to put their pets’ best paw forward this Halloween with landlords, with 1 in 2 rental properties not explicitly stating whether pets were allowed.

Pet-friendly benefits for renters and landlords alike

How pet-friendly are Australia’s rental properties?
State/territory Allowed Not allowed Not stated
NSW 5% 53% 43%
VIC 2% 44% 54%
QLD 15% 44% 47%
WA 13% 27% 60%
SA 12% 50% 38%
TAS 10% 35% 54%
NT 10% 23% 67%
ACT 5% 36% 59%
Source: rent.com.au property data (October 2018)

Greg Bader, CEO, Rent.com.au said: “With more than 70,000 residential rental listings on our site, we can see that on average, 10% indicate pets are allowed, 40% say pets are not welcome, but about half make no mention of pet-friendliness. The last group, which keeps the option of having pets potentially open, is where our Pet Resume feature can truly shine.”

Pet Resume, designed as a personal profile for pets, helps renters demonstrate responsible pet ownership by providing all the necessary information in a rental application to help a landlord/agent make an informed decision.”

Mr Bader said the success of the feature, which now has 100,000 furry-friend profiles since it first launched on the site in December 2016, reflects Australia’s current rental landscape.

“This level of support from our customers indicates that for around one-third, the right to pet ownership is vital,” the CEO said.

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The case for furry friends gets stronger in a declining housing market

Greg Bader continues: “The ability to move into a rental property with your pet is an issue that hits close to home for many renters. In a declining property market, with so few properties outright declaring themselves pet-friendly, this is an opportunity for landlords to stand out from the pack and earn loyal tenants to ride out the downturn.”

Dr Mark Perissinotto. Photo: VetShopAustralia.

Dr Mark Perissinotto, practising veterinarian and co-founder/managing director at VetShopAustralia offered the following advice to landlords who might be unsure about allowing pets in rental properties: “Almost all of us benefit from having a pet in the home, and more broadly, pets in the wider Australian community,” he said.

“For landlords who might be thinking about taking the plunge and allowing pets, we’d advise them to consider providing guidance to would-be tenants on what the property can and cannot support. Rather than focusing on removing carpets, it’s about understanding the size of the property, its locality to parks and other areas a pet can run free – all of which can provide a better foundation for turning down Great Danes, but providing the ideal environment for a French Bulldog.”

Mr Bader concludes: “There have been several studies that show the benefits of owning pets – everything from teaching responsibility to kids, health/wellbeing and companionship. Why wouldn’t we (as a community) want renters to have the same opportunities as everyone when it comes to pet ownership?”

Where our pets call home

Fairly unsurprisingly, dogs and cats outrank all other pet choices in the popularity rankings, but here’s a better breakdown of pets by Aussie capital. Northern Territory (74%), New South Wales (71%) and Queensland (69%) have the highest percentage of dog owners, while Victoria (31%), Western Australia (30%) and South Australia (30%) love their cats more than any other states/territories.

Dog and Cat ownership by state/territory
State/territory Dogs Cats Other
NSW 71% 22% 7%
VIC 62% 31% 7%
QLD 69% 25% 6%
WA 65% 30% 5%
SA 61% 30% 9%
TAS 64% 28% 8%
NT 74% 20% 6%
ACT 69% 25% 6%

Rent.com.au offers the following advice for renters looking to put their best paw forward:

  • Create a Pet Resume for your pet and submit your Renter Resume with all rental applications
  • Honesty is key and will be appreciated by a landlord/agent
  • Ensure your pup is well trained and up-to-scratch with his/her doggy manners
  • Make sure your cat is house-trained
  • Be prepared that you may need to pay a pet bond if you’re in WA
  • Have references on hand if requested – consider asking your dog trainer, vet or previous landlord/agent to vouch for Fido.
Rent.com.au

Find your next rental property today on Rent.com.au and get great tips, advice and services. Like the small details? Between Suburb Reviews, WalkScore®, NBN status, commute times and pet-friendliness, we've got everything you need to find your perfect rental.