While almost two thirds (or 63%) of households in Australia own pets, only a quarter of rental listings on Rent.com.au specify pets are allowed. In fact, 42% of Rent.com.au users said they were under stress* finding a rental that will allow pets. Although some investors are unwilling to consider applications which come with a furry friend attached, Rent.com.au’s ‘Pet Resume’ feature is going some way to see this element of the application process improved.

Following the successful launch of personal renting profile Renter Resume, Rent.com.au extended its feature line-up to include Pet Resume, an attempt to bridge the gap between an overwhelming demand for pet-friendly rentals on one hand and limited supply on the other. Renters can now present future landlords with a detailed summary of their pet’s best qualities, whether they’ve been vaccinated, registered or trained, all to improve their chance of application success.

The feature has been overwhelmingly popular too. More than 20,000 pets now have a Pet Resume on Rent.com.au – and it’s not just cats and dogs, although they are easily the most popular. Renters can create a Pet Resume for all animals: snakes, fish and even horses have been added to the growing list of profiles, built by tenants driven to show their prospective landlord / property manager how seriously they take pet ownership.

One Rent.com.au customer, Amie, from Dubbo, NSW, owns two kelpie dogs and said she created a Pet Resume both her pets when she submitted her property application. “My partner and I had been applying for properties to no avail on other websites for a week or two and had no response from agents. Then I found Rent.com.au – I created a Renter Resume and made two Pet Resumes. Within 24 hours of submitting my property application on Rent.com.au, I had a call from the agent approving us and our dogs into the property,” she said. “I’m convinced it was because of going the extra step to make a Pet Resume and show we were serious about our application.” Property managers have loved the Pet Resume feature, with many finding it an easy way to start a conversation about the future of a furry-friend in their client’s property. When agents receive a Pet Resume as part of a renter’s Renter Resume, they see key information about a pet, including its type, registration and proof of vaccinations. Together with the extra information provided through the Renter Resume and Rent.com.au’s new digital application form, this is designed to speed up the screening process significantly.

Investment Property Specialist Jeannette Nguyen from Sydney-based agency Devine Real Estate said presentation was key when lodging a property application. “Providing a Pet Resume together with the application demonstrates to a landlord that they [the renter] take pet ownership seriously and will take full responsibility for their pet’s health, behaviour and council registrations and vaccinations,” she said. “This can reassure an owner that in keeping a pet, the property will be maintained to a high standard – as if it were the tenant’s own property.”

In late 2016, Rent.com.au surveyed more than 1,300 renters on renting with pets, finding that 42% of renters found it ‘extremely difficult’ to find a place to rent that would also accept their pets. This is despite almost two thirds (or 63%) of Australian households owning pets, showing the majority of our populations places a value on pet ownership. But the reality is that when landlords agree to flag their investment as pet friendly on Rent.com.au, the chances of filling that vacancy with a good tenant grows exponentially.

Renters regularly face obstacles in their search for a pet-friendly property. Although many landlords may choose to eventually welcome pets into their investment, only 25% of Rent.com.au’s rental listings specify ‘pets allowed.’ Rent.com.au’s research also targeted 700 property agents and landlords. Around 80% said they would consider pets if presented with all the information required – and the idea for Pet Resume was born.Rent.com.au Chief Executive Officer Greg Bader said within the 30% of the population who rent are people renting for entirely practical and logical reasons – whether that be ‘rentvestors,’ or simply people who have moved to a new location for lifestyle or a career. “As a community, we need to recognise that renting is here to stay and we need to lose the stigma that has been associated with it,” he said.

“Our customers tell us that they want the renting experience to be simpler, less confrontational but also more consistent and predictable – and these are the points we are addressing first. It’s something I think is unique to us, not only as a portal, but specifically as a portal that focuses on the rental market.”

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