It’s probably easy to think of reasons why you would not want to rent your property to pet-owners. Most people worry about potential damage to their property (scratch marks, holes dug under fences), and pets can be a noisy or aggressive nuisance for neighbours. An animal that is not house-trained (or whose owners who are not good and cleaning up after it) could leave stains and odours to contend with.
On the other hand, responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants. Pet owners tend to stay longer and are often careful to abide by the terms of the lease as pet-friendly rentals are hard to find. As there is more demand for rentals that allow pets, you will have a better chance of keeping your property occupied with paying tenants. You could also charge more rent. Another plus is that pet owners often connect well with neighbours helping create a sense of safety and community in the street.
So how will you know whether or not an applicant is a responsible pet owner?
The RSPCA recommends that pet-owners looking for rental properties put together a pet resume detailing information about their pet including: the breed, medical information such as vaccinations, council registration details, and any training that the animal has had.
They even suggest that the applicant supply references for their animal so that the potential landlord can be reassured that the pet is well trained and social.
If you really want to be sure, you could ask to meet the animal and see for yourself that they and their owners are going to be good tenants.