Lack of Pet-Friendly Rentals Drives Animal Lovers to Homelessness
Auckland owners’ negative attitudes towards pets are forcing animal lovers to choose between becoming homeless or abandoning their beloved furry companions.
Jasmyn Rose from Birkdale found herself having to find new accommodation after her landlord sold the house she was living in.
Rose was determined to take Chayse, her 11-year-old cat, with her, but she had such a hard time finding a pet-friendly rental that she missed her moving deadline.
She found that ‘90%’ of homes were classed as ‘pet-free’ by default and the few that allowed them were hotly contested.
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As a result, she and her three children, all under the age of 6, ended up in emergency government accommodation.
“It was horrible. The other tenants were partying every night and we were getting bitten by bedbugs.
To place her family in suitable accommodation, Rose applied for any house she could find and was recently accepted into a house on Auckland’s North Shore.
However, her owner wouldn’t allow Chayse to move in and Rose had to make the difficult decision to try and rehome the family pet.
“He needs someone who can give him attention because he is a very affectionate cat. Otherwise, he spends most of the time outside or sleeping.
Do you have room in your home and in your heart for Chayse the cat? Contact [email protected]
Rose said Chayse never damaged any of the homes he lived in. She said landlords who said no to pets by default were missing out on potentially valuable tenants.
“It is worth taking a look at a pet during a visit. A good pet is generally a good indication of its owners as tenants.
Central Aucklander Sonia Helene was looking for a rental for herself, her partner and their one-year-old indoor cat, Rafiki.
She’s already been looking for two months and has managed to extend her current tenancy to secure a roof over her head, but the extended lease ends in May.
They are looking for an unfurnished house so that there is no risk to the owners furniture, and have provided a letter of recommendation for Rafiki from their current owner.
“He’s fantastic and doesn’t destroy or scratch anything other than his cat tower. He mostly sleeps all day and plays with his toys.
Helene and her partner are looking for homes in central and east Auckland, but find the pet-friendly rentals are either off budget or in poor condition. They are willing to pay $500 a week.
Do you own a pet friendly rental? E-mail [email protected]
Data collected by Barfoot and Thompson shows that pet-friendly rentals in Auckland cost an average of $20 more per week for a three-bedroom house and $34 more for a five-bedroom house.
Auckland’s central suburbs are the most expensive for pets, with pet-friendly rentals costing an average of $125 more per week in the central eastern suburbs.
Samantha Arnold, managing director of property management at Barfoot & Thompson, said of the company’s 16,000 properties in Auckland, around 14 per cent were pet-friendly. This was 11% more than in 2017.
“It would appear that more and more landlords are welcoming the idea of having pets in their properties. With higher rental returns from allowing pets, the risk of damage can be partially mitigated,” Arnold said.
The North Shore and Rodney had the highest proportion of pet-friendly rentals, at 23.4% and 22.3% respectively.
Arnold said the top two reasons that deter pet owners are inadequate fencing and the risk of damage to investment properties.
According to the NZ Companion Animal Council, 64% of New Zealanders own a pet and more than half of households that don’t want one.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that not having suitable housing was the biggest barrier to owning a pet. A third said he was in rental accommodation that did not allow pets.