In Australia’s dog-eat-dog rental market, pet owners are often overlooked by picky landlords who prefer animal-free properties. Cue the rise of ‘pet resumes’.
With home ownership rates declining, and a third of Australians now renting, securing a suitable rental home can be a huge headache for pet owners.
Pet resumes, which can include details of breed, registration and proof of vaccinations, are designed to help would-be renters and their furry friends stand out from the pack.
Pet-owning renters are largely at the mercy of landlords and property managers, despite Australia having one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.
Pet resumes are the solution to the hardships pet owners face when hunting for rental homes, according to Rent CEO Greg Bader.
“We think that renters should have the same opportunity [as homeowners] to benefit from pets,” he said.
“A pet resume gives the owner a chance to explain and demonstrate responsible ownership.”
Pet resumes can help pet owners convey their pet’s best qualities, and show prospective landlords that they’re top dog.
“Someone looking to rent a ground-floor apartment with a small dog is different to having a horse or three pit bulls,” Mr Bader said.
The website has seen more than 75,000 pet resumes created since it added the feature last year.
“Pets are quite an emotive issue and we find it’s best to open the conversation,” Mr Bader said.
“Most landlords are open to the option.”
The Victorian government recently announced it would move to prohibit ‘no-pet’ clauses, giving tenants the right to keep pets provided they obtain the landlord’s written consent first. Despite calls from tenants’ advocates, other states are yet to follow suit.
In 2016, 62 per cent of Australian households owned pets, with more than 24 million pets in total, the RSPCA reported.
However, a lack of pet-friendly rental properties remains a problem.
Last financial year, a quarter of the animals taken in by the Animal Welfare League Queensland were surrendered due to an inability to find pet-friendly homes.
According to a 2016 survey by rent.com.au, 42 per cent of Australian renters found it “extremely difficult” to find a place to rent that would accepts pets.