Chances are, if you’ve ever tried to rent a house or apartment with a pet in tow, you’ve likely met a fair bit of resistance from landlords.
After all, they have their pristine carpets, spotless walls, and landscaped garden to worry about.
But there’s a growing number of renters who are going the extra mile to promote their furry friends to prospective landlords, by creating a separate ‘pet resume’ and attaching it to their rental application.
Agents say it’s often the difference between a landlord allowing a pet to move in and refusing them entry.
Currently, rental application site 1form allows tenants to upload a cover letter and pictures of their pets.
So, if you’re putting together a pet resume, what should it include?
Pet resume basics
Sam Nokes from Jellis Craig South Yarra says that your pet resume should, first and foremost, have a cover letter that includes as much information about your pet as possible.
“Size, weight, breed – those things are very handy,” Nokes says.
“It is something the landlords appreciate when they’re considering it. It’s a great way of swaying a landlord that’s pretty 50-50 about pets.”
Nokes says independent references are probably the most important thing to include in a pet resume.
“Things that are good are letters or a note from [your current home’s property manager] to say that the property’s been good with inspections, and that there’s been no pet damage, no smells or anything like that,” Nokes says.
“A note or reference from the neighbours is always a good one, saying they haven’t had any issues with the pets – they’re the main issues, so it’s really about addressing those: Noise, damage and smells.”
Without an indication of what a pet looks like, an agent or prospective landlord might be reluctant to accept an animal.
Biggin & Scott Richmond’s Jenn Durling says attaching a couple of photos is the best way to demonstrate a dog’s size and show that it’s unlikely to cause any property damage.
“It’s certainly helpful. I don’t know anything about dogs; I’m not a dog person. So, when someone says they have a dog on an application, it means nothing to me. But if I can see a photo, and I can see it’s a small dog, then I can relay that information to the owner,” Durling says.
Nokes adds that it also pays to include a photo of the area the dog sleeps, to show that the area is well kept.
A personal touch
Both Nokes and Durling also suggest including a memorable piece of information in your application, not only to endear the animal to your prospective landlord, but also to push your application to the front of the agent’s mind.
“We often see funny photos,” Nokes says.
“We might see the last three years of the Christmas card that’s got the dog in it, or we’ll see the wedding photo that’s got the dog in it. They’re just trying to show you that this isn’t a dog that they just leave at the property; this is an animal that is part of their life, which they respect and look after.”
Durling says she’ll never forget some of the applications that cross her desk.
“Some of them make them look like dating ads. They put a real story behind it and they’re very, very witty.”
“When I’m just looking at application after application, when someone puts something in that’s a little bit amusing, I quite like it, and it sets them apart.”
Pick up the phone
Durling also advises renters to call agents and explain their pet situation.
“If you’re sending you’re dog off to your mum and dad’s while you’re at work, that’s really important information for the owner of the property to be aware of,” she said.
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