More landlords should accept tenants with pets, advocate says

Murraylands Animal Welfare Watch is campaigning for more compassion on the part of Murray Bridge property owners.

Have you ever scrolled through a list of rental properties and had to skip past all the ones that say “no pets”?

Local advocacy group Murraylands Animal Welfare watch wants to make sure renters no longer have that experience.

The group has written to Murray Bridge’s property managers asking them to encourage landlords to accept tenants with pets.

Spokeswoman Ruby Eckermann said such tenants were usually willing to pay a little more for a property, more likely to stay in a property long-term, and more often looked after a property because they were already used to the responsibility of caring for an animal.

“Data suggests that accepting pets into tenancies actually increases rental returns for landlords,” she said.

“Putting guarantees around property damage or appropriate cleaning up after the pet will ensure landlords are protected.

“It is also well known that tenancies often last longer for tenants with pets, as they are more committed to staying in one property because of their pets’ requirement for familiar surrounds.”

A lack of flexibility by landlords had even contributed to Murray Bridge’s feral cat problem, she said.

“Murray Bridge has a high rate of pet abandonment – mostly cats – which often occurs because landlords will not allow a cat at a new premise and the tenant sadly leaves their cat behind,” she said.

“This is contributing to a high number of unowned and feral wandering cats around the township and can be somewhat mitigated by greater acceptance of pets in rental properties.”

Ms Eckermann estimated that pets lived in two out of three South Australian households.

At a state level, the Greens have pushed for laws that would require landlords to allow pets except in exceptional circumstances.

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