Dogs reign supreme as Australia’s most loved household pet, with cats sitting in second place, according to new data from Rent.com.au.

Report highlights:

  • Over 200,000 Pet Resumes created (and over 1 million Renter Resumes)
  • Thousands of pets into homes (and their humans, of course)

Ever tried to rent a house or an apartment with your pet? You might have found it more difficult than you thought.

Rent.com.au’s Pet Resume continues to be popular with renters across Australia, and there’s a good reason.

A Pet Resume is a renting profile for your pet. It’s an easy way to give a landlord/property manager a detailed summary of your pet’s best qualities and a photo when you apply for a property.

Pet Resume also lets you include information about whether your furry friend has been vaccinated, microchipped, trained and more.

While Pet Resume is great as a cute addition to your rental application, there’s a more serious reason for it. Attaching a Pet Resume to your Renter Resume helps you start a conversation with a landlord/property manager and demonstrate that you’re a responsible pet owner.

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The ‘ruff’ data

As many states across Australia battle with an ongoing rental crisis, there’s mounting pressure on renters to find a way to make their application stand out.

As an example, around 20% of properties allow pets. While this might be higher on average than the rest of Australia, the number of available rentals in WA have dropped from around 8,000 from the start of 2020 (pre-COVID) to less than 4,000.

With a vacancy rate of less than 1% in the west, it’s no wonder landlords can afford to be picky about who they allow to rent their property.

Today, around 25% of renters have pets – and of the 1 million renters who have created a Renter Resume on Rent.com.au, more than 200,000 have created a Pet Resume for their pet.

Renters trying to put their best paw forward

The worst-case scenario, of course, is that many renters are having to offload their beloved pets to friends or other family members for the duration of the lease – or worse, having to take them to a shelter.

In WA, for example, 31% of houses on the market say pets aren’t allowed, and another 49% don’t specify whether the home is pet-friendly. Pet Resume targets those landlords who are likely open to discussion around pets.

Metro HouseNoNot SpecifiedYes
ACT36%58%6%
NSW57%35%9%
NT17%57%26%
QLD38%38%23%
SA53%29%19%
TAS50%39%11%
VIC47%49%4%
WA31%49%20%
Source - rent.com.au (200k Pet Resumes)

Regulations around pets vary from state to state, so the struggle to find pet-friendly accommodation is common.

Where our pets call home

Although dogs continue to dominate the popularity rankings, it’s interesting to see the breakdown of breeds in each Aussie capital.

Mixed and Staffy take the lead in all states and territories, but some interesting data comes up when you break down the type of dogs renters own. There are more chihuahuas in WA than anywhere else, while VIC leads the charge with Jack Russells.

BreedRanks highest in these states
Mixed#1 All
Staffy#2 All
Kelpie / HealerNSW, NT, SA
Maltese Shih TzuQLD, TAS, WA
LabradorACT
TerrierNSW
Jack RussellVIC
CollieQLD
BulldogTAS
ChihuahuaWA
ShepherdVIC
OodleACT
MastiffWA
DachshundQLD
SpanielTAS
Source - rent.com.au (200k Pet Resumes)

Curious pet facts from Pet Resume

  • The ACT has the lowest bird ownership of all capitals but leads in rodents (pets, not parliament!)
  • NSW is middle of the road in most categories but leads all other states in Staffy ownership.
  • The NT is #1 for dog ownership – there’s one cat for every three dogs.
  • QLD has more pets per person than any other state. They’re also #1 for birds.
  • SA is the most popular state to own a reptile, but the lowest for dogs.
  • TAS is #1 for rabbits and has the lowest reptile ownership of all capitals.
  • VIC comes in highest for cats and has more Jack Russells than any other state/territory.
  • WA is highest for fish and remains the most popular state to own a Chihuahua.

Power to the pets – and their owners

Jill – Killarney Vale, NSW

Renters with Pet Resumes aren’t always who you’d expect either! Jill, 49, of Killarney Vale in New South Wales has spent the last 15 years rehabilitating and releasing injured and orphaned native animals.

Jill created a Pet Resume on Rent.com.au to cater for her love of caring for native Australian wildlife, and most recently, pouch babies while she searches for her next home. To date, she’s cared for everything from tawny frogmouths, possums, joeys, galahs, turtles, lizards and even a pelican.

“I’m still looking for a rental that fits my lifestyle,” she said. “I’m a fan of Pet Resume because I stand by being honest with landlords and agents in the application process about the pets I care for. Hiding your pets (or animals you care for) can only make things worse for the animals and yourself.”

Jill said she has been selective with her choice of home as some places aren’t suitable. “I don’t want to live near a main road in case I have an escapee at home,” she admits. “At the moment I’m looking for properties that have a granny flat or garage where I can keep my aviaries and cages.” Jill also works with dementia patients and uses her rescued wildlife to connect with them.

Laticia – Evanston, SA

On the topic of more unusual pets to own, Laticia in South Australia created a Pet Resume for her possum Pete and wombats when she began her rental property search on Rent.com.au.

“In the past, I’ve been knocked back from a couple of rental properties because my pets are fairly unusual, but I’m still looking for a place to live,” she said. “Eventually, I’d like to buy an acreage somewhere so I have room for Pete and the wombats.”

Presentation matters on an application

Byrony O’Neill, director of the Auchenflower-based estate agent of the same name in Queensland, said her office manages several pet-friendly properties and understands the importance of determining a pet’s temperament in the application process:

Rent.com.au’s Pet Resume feature is an excellent tool, which allows property managers to process a rental application with a pet more efficiently and with much more detail for our landlords,” Byrony said. “We know that more and more tenants are searching for properties which are pet-friendly every day; we often have calls asking if anything is available. The Pet Resume feature allows tenants to show the nature of their pet, its personality and training. In the past, applications have merely noted the breed and age, which does little to convey the temperament of the pet.”

Byrony said Pet Resume allows property managers to show landlords that their pet is friendly, approachable and well-behaved. “We find that landlords are more willing to consider pets when they understand the personality of the pet and owner. Often, tenants with pets will go to extreme lengths to win over the landlord’s approval – writing long letters, sending pictures, offering for them to meet the pet. Pet Resume essentially ties all of this together so that the tenant can provide these details easily for the landlord so that they can make an informed decision,” she concluded.

RENT chief executive officer Greg Bader said the information renters choose to add to their Pet Resume helps all parties involved in the application process (landlords and agents alike) make a favourable decision.

“Our focus at Rent.com.au is on bridging the gap between the overwhelming demand for pet-friendly rentals on the one hand and the limited supply of these properties on the other,” he said.

Fun fact: The two most commonly misspelled pet breeds on Pet Resume are Chihuahua (11 variations) and Guinea Pig (8 variations).

Pet Resume is available for new and existing renters to use through Renter Resume at Rent.com.au.

Rent.com.au

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