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How to pet proof your rental: 5 simple hacks to follow

 

New laws allowing pets into rental properties have granted much-needed relief to many of Victoria’s renters. However, if you’re a landlord and concerned about the effect a pet may have on your property, here are some protective measures worth considering. 

Rental reforms in Victoria have loosened restrictions on bringing pets into rental properties. However, some landlords are worried about what this will do to the condition of their property.  There are, however, simple and minimal adjustments that can pet-proof your place.

These simple changes will ensure you, your tenants and their pets can live happily ever after.

1. Chat to your tenant

The very first step should be to have a friendly chat to your tenant. What kind of pet do they have? Is it strictly an indoor/outdoor pet? Will it climb, fly, shed fur, scratch or chew?

Find out the needs of their pet in order to manage both of your expectations and perhaps you can tailor the property accordingly without having to invest too much.

Pet resumes for rentals

Tenants with pets may require a little bit more thought for a landlord. Picture: Ellen Smith

Remember, it’s largely up to your tenant to repair any pet-related damage upon the end of the lease (unless it’s urgent), so this is in the interest of both parties.

Chatting to your tenant can also allow you the opportunity to give some pet-friendly tips, which will help keep the property in good shape, including:

Mats – a food bowl mat or rug can stop floorboards and tiles from being scratched when hungry dogs are tucking in.

Grooming – well groomed animals will leave less hair around the house, so a chat about coat care could protect your air conditioner filters.

Baby gates – encourage tenants to invest in baby gates  to section off rooms. This limits the areas where damage can occur and is especially useful in houses with carpeted areas.

Toilet locks – tying the lid down will not only stop animals drinking from the bowl, a potentially hazardous water source, it will also reduce damage and scratching on the toilet seat.

Puppy property: finding a pet-perfect rental

2. Get a dog door

Speaking of inexpensive adjustments, consider installing a dog door.

Dogs and cats are likely to claw at doors if they want to get in or out, so save a few scratched panels or broken fly screens with this easy fix.

Dog

It’s up to the tenant to reverse any pet-related damage to a rental property. Picture: Kate Hunter

In fact, a dog door is just one of a few simple fixes, which help keep a pet-friendly rental in better shape for longer.

Others include:

Flooring – remove carpet and install tiles or floorboards to avoid allergens and lingering odours.

Improve tiling – raise tiles several inches up the walls in common areas to ward against furry friends who feel the need to rub their body or mark their territory.

Backyard – replace a section of the lawn with gravel. This will attract dogs and will help protect grassy areas.

Garage dog flap – if you are worried about security this trick allows your tenant to keep the dog comfortable in the carport, but will not create security issues as you cut off access to the whole house.

Scratch protection – attach acrylic strips to the bottom-half of doors to stop excited animals from scratching the wood.

Remove dangerous plants – poisonous plants can hurt pets as well as children. Make sure you remove them to avoid any chance of harm and possible legal action.

Moving in: settling your puppy in a new rental

3. Get insurance

Most landlords should have some form of insurance protection in the event of mishaps, but some companies have extended their policies to cover for pet damage.

Dogs

They may be cute, but pets can cause serious property damage. Insurance protects against the inevitable. Picture: Kate Hunter

“Preventing where you can is great, but it’s good to have the insurance there if you do need to draw on it,” RACV Landlord Insurance spokesperson, Simon Hasell, explains.

“RACV Landlord Insurance covers pet damage to building and contents, so things like if a pet runs through a screen door, or chews on the bottom of a door frame will be covered, less the standard bond amount received by the tenant.”

Insurance is key for landlords but it is not the only safeguard when it comes to furry tenants.

Landlords can also adopt the following tips, so they do not fall short when damage occurs.

Deposit – include a pet deposit on top of the bond to pay for any damage caused by cats and dogs.

Puppy training – ask for evidence dogs have undergone a credible course to ensure they are house trained.

How to: move with a pet

4. Conduct regular inspections

Protect yourself by conducting thorough, regular property inspections, and make sure you have a clear, up-to-date condition report before new tenants arrive.

Once the tenant’s lease is up, they will be responsible for repairing damage beyond wear and tear, as well as cleaning and fumigating as required.

It pays for landlords to be thorough before an animal moves and property managers should:

Take photos – keep a record of what condition doors, floors, screens and blinds are in before a pet tenant moves in. This will provide back up if a tenant disputes damage.

Screen pets – don’t be afraid to request a meeting with any potential pet tenants to ensure they are suitable for your property.

Documentation – check vaccination records and council registrations are up to date, as this indicates a conscientious owner.

5. Look to the future

The Victorian rental reforms may not come into effect until July 2020, so if you’re building an investment property now and want a steady stream of renters (who may bring pets!) in the future, consider your choice of flooring, doors, windows and carpets.

Cat

Opening your property up to renters with pets could increase competition for your lease. Picture: Kate Hunter

Finally, it’s important to note that you’re allowed to protest having pets on your property. You can appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for your right to refuse, within reason.

How to move house with your pet

 

Moving house with a pet is no walk in the park, but with a little pre-planning, you can help yourself to make it as pain-free as possible. 

PETstock veterinarian Dr. Hay Chung says dogs and cats can have different reactions to a change in scenery, but there are a few things we can do before, during and after the move to keep them safe and happy through the transition.

Before the move

You can never be too prepared for moving day. You’ll need to create a checklist and start ticking it off weeks in advance.

Dog and moving boxes

Plan ahead, and your move can be risk-free for your pet. Picture: Kate Hunter

When it comes to your pet, things to consider could include: 

  1. Visiting the vet for a check-up and to ensure all their vaccinations are up-to-date. If you’re moving to a new area (with a new vet), be sure to collect all medical records and prescriptions from your current vet to pass on.
  2. Updating your pet’s microchip with your new address and vet details.
  3. Checking to see if there are any possible dangers — ticks, snakes, aggressive neighbourhood animals or busy roads around your new home.
  4. Reviewing your pet insurance and if you don’t have it, consider taking it out. RACV have just launched RACV Pet Insurance, offering illness and injury cover with up to $12,000 per year if your pet suffers an illness or injury during the period of insurance and up to 80% of approved vet costs back, up to $12,000 per year. The chance of an accident happening can increase significantly during a move — with doors open, dangerous goods at nose-height and unfamiliar territory — so having insurance will give you peace of mind.
  5. Planning where your pet’s bed or climber will go prior to moving in so you can make it homely straight away.
  6. Investing in a good pet carrier for the move. Plus, you can leave out your animal’s favourite blanket and toys to make it familiar.

Keeping your pet safe when you’re moving house should be top of the list. Picture: RACV

On the big day

The moment you start packing your things into boxes is the moment your pet will stop feeling secure. When this happens, it’s common for dogs and particularly cats to act out.

“Moving house is more problematic for cats than dogs, because they do get more attached to their environments,” Dr. Hay says. “Use interactive feeders such as Catnip or Feliway for environmental enrichment to keep them distracted while you’re packing,” she suggests.

Dog in dog bed

A dog’s bed is their castle, so leave it until last to pack away. Picture: Getty

To prevent anxiety, keep the cat or dog’s bed or playpen out until the final moment. This will ensure your pet’s belongings or area will be the last to go in and, consequently, the first to come out the other end. For dogs, keeping them in an enclosed outdoor area could prevent them getting in the way or picking up hazardous objects left of the ground.

For transportation – if not walking – car safety is paramount. “Keep the windows down, stop for breaks if travelling long distances and in summer, make sure your pet has access to water,” Dr. Hay says. “Cats are not going to be as forgiving as dogs, so more frequent breaks may be necessary.”

If you can, you may want to consider putting your pet into a boarding facility or having them stay with a pet-sitter or a friend they’re familiar with. This could save them the trauma of moving and save you from the added chaos of a doting dog or chaotic cat.

That being said, you know your pet better than anyone so assess whether separating them from the move (and you) will do them more harm than good.

Once you’ve unpacked — and have their corner all set up — you can give them all the love and attention they need. 

Settling in

When it comes to settling animals into the new digs, familiarity is key. Try to recreate their space as close to its original design in the previous home and maintain your usual routines. 

For cats, it’s best to keep them indoors for the first one or two weeks to allow them to get used to their new environment.

Cat on a gate

Cats can be wary of new environments, so keep them inside at first to help them feel at home. Picture: iStock

Next, be sure to pet-proof your home. Once safe, show your furry friend where their things are: food and water bowls, litter tray or potty grass and so on. 

And lastly, and most importantly, show them extra love and affection. Remember, change is daunting for them too. 

Six impressive auction properties for sale

We’re throwing the spotlight on some of the best auction properties listed on Rightmove right now.

Join us as we showcase some of the most impressive homes we’ve spotted for this buying method – or get a more detailed explanation about how to buy through auction below:

 

 

A Tudor style home with lots of original features

This four-bedroom home in Worcestershire is listed for auction and offers an amazing opportunity to buy a house bursting with character and history.

The property dates back to the early 17th Century and stands as a classic timber-framed period house of the era – complete with original features like an inglenook fireplace and parquet flooring.

Take a closer look at the property below:

A former oasthouse turned into a flexible living space

Originally a twin kiln oasthouse for the local area, this intriguing property has been converted into a modern family home that can suit a variety of needs.

As well as enjoying a private garden and extensive space throughout, there is also the opportunity to create a loft conversion to accommodate even more.

Take a closer look at the property below:

A former hotel ripe for an exciting new renovation project

This impressive building used to be a hotel and country house and already has conditional planning to be turned into a brand new hotel, wedding venue, restaurant, bar and spa.

Situated out in rural Northumberland, the property enjoys access to a private fishing lake and mature woodland grounds and has already received a string of renovations to the interior.

Take a closer look at the property below:

A modernised home on the edge of a communal lake

This five-bedroom home sits within Aston Park, in Oxfordshire, and has a fantastic set back position on a private road allowing the owners to fully enjoy the parkland landscapes.

What strikes us most about this auction property is the amount of natural light it enjoys – thanks to some carefully considered extensions that help bring out the best in this family home.

Take a closer look at the property below:

A barn conversion with a whole lot of space

The Old Grain barn is an eight-bedroom property that actually dates back to the 1700s and has enjoyed a full renovation to turn it into a practical, but beautiful family home.

Situated close to Peterborough, the property enjoys lovely country views, four en-suite bedrooms and a surprising feeling of space thanks to high ceilings and lots of natural light throughout. It was offered for auction around ten years ago, just showing the sort of quirky properties you can find under this buying method.

Take a closer look at the property below:

A large family home ready for a complete refurbishment

For those looking for more of a project, this extensive property could well fit the bill thanks to its beautiful exterior coupled with the fact that the interior is a veritable clean slate for someone to put their stamp on.

The six bedroom property is laid out with an array of interesting rooms from a music room and drawing room to an office, garden hall and several en-suite bedrooms. What would you do to turn this property into your forever home?

 

Take a closer look at the property below:

Beautiful church renovations for sale

We throw the spotlight on a series of beautiful church renovations that all retain the fantastic character of their original structures, while also providing a modernised space perfectly suited to family life.

Take a look at these fantastic church spotlights below – which could you see yourself setting up a new home in?

 

 

The Chapel in Harrogate

This former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built back at the end of the 1800s and really does catch the eye – with its incredible pillar façade and beautiful balconies that provide far-reaching views.

The property has enjoyed a sympathetic renovation that’s returned it to its former glory right down to restoring the Victorian stained-glass windows.

Take a closer look at the property below:

All Saints Church in Horsmonden

This early Gothic style church is Grade II-listed with permission to turn it into a contemporary living space while still preserving the fantastic features hidden inside.

Built around 1870, the beautiful yellow brick exterior gives it a wonderfully characterful feel while inside the property is a fantastic terracotta brick space in which to create a truly unique family home.

Take a closer look at the property below:

Chapel House in Crondall

Close to the Georgian town of Farnham, this four-bedroom property was originally built as a church way back in 1879 and has since been slowly converted into a welcoming home.

Fully modernised over the past few years, one of the unique features of Chapel House is its ability to serve as flexible accommodation – with the ground floor able to be completely remodeled to create a self-contained space if needed.

Take a closer look at the property below:

Chapel Gatehouse in Parley

Originally known as St. Barnabas Church, this unique building in Dorset has since been renovated into a four-bedroom property that’s become a spectacular family home.

Throughout the conversion, you’ll still find some truly fantastic pieces of architecture from the original church property, all seamlessly integrated with modern conveniences that don’t take away from the character of the building.

Take a closer look at the property below:

The Old Chapel in Stanford-le-hope

This converted Catholic chapel sits nestled in a beautifully picturesque Essex village and enjoys far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside.

 

Take a closer look at the property below:

Church House in Canonbie

This four-bedroom semi-detached home is a fantastic three-floor conversion of a mid-19th Century former church.

 

The property combines its original features with fantastic modern amenities, and also benefits from being situated on the outskirts of a beautiful (and quiet) village.

Take a closer look at the property below:

The Chapel in Cold Ashton

This detached chapel is in need of a big renovation project but we couldn’t resist including it simply because of the huge potential of this wonderful building.

The property is listed for auction and – with a little bit of TLC and some big ideas – it could make the most unique family home. What would you do to this building to make it your own?

Take a closer look at the property below:

The Chapel at Fitzroy Gate

This beautiful home sits within a wonderfully converted old chapel that dates back to 1902 and enjoys three acres of landscaped private parkland surrounding it.

The home itself has three bedrooms, a large kitchen, dining room, study and two en-suites in total – with beautiful high ceilings and lots of space for a new owners to really make it their own.

Key colour trends for interior design in 2019

From matt colours to terracotta additions, Redrow give us the latest home trends update.

“If you’re a fan of colour there’s plenty of it this season,” was a key theme from the Focus/18 show at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and reflected messages heard at design weeks in London and Paris. It’s a trend that will ring true throughout 2019.

Matt black is this year’s key colour and rich, earthy tones like baked reds, dusty orange and terracotta will be prominent. But it doesn’t end there. There’s an entire spectrum of colour to choose from – ranging from pale and interesting right through to deep and delicious.

Rightmove spoke with Emma Brindley, Redrow’s head of interior design, to gain her expert insight into to how you can bring a rainbow of colour to your home.

Matt & metallics

The contrast of matt black furniture and brass or gold finishes work exceptionally well together, as we saw in Paris. Choose on-trend metallics for your accessories and coordinate with artwork in similar tones, adding a simple matt black frame to make a statement.

Tickled pink

Our love affair with pink continues. Delicate blush pink shades remain a popular interior trend.

Warm up a neutral paint with pink throws and cushions; they offer just the right amount of colour and feel fun and fresh on a living room sofa.

An army of terracotta

Fashion trends often cascade from the catwalk to our homes and while terracotta and burnt orange are often associated with autumn, they’re colours for all seasons.

Proving that orange is here to stay in many shades and tones, Pantone has chosen Living Coral as its 2019 colour of the year. Use terracotta accessories for an instant lift.

Spice things up

Spiced Honey is the Dulux colour of the year for 2019 and helps create a warm and welcoming ambience. It can influence so many things, even if you don’t use the paint itself.  You can easily replicate the warm, earthy Spiced Honey tone in wallpaper, soft furnishings and accessories instead.

Purple perfection

When it comes to colour, a little can go a long way. Dusty purple can give a room a rich, indulgent feel.

Perfect the ‘show home’ look by painting a feature wall in Dulux Heritage dusted heather, furnish with a cream sofa and add tartan cushions for a colourful lift to an otherwise neutral setting.

Natural greenery

Adding foliage or flowers offers a simple yet effective way to add colour. It allows you to bring the outside in and can change with the seasons – or more frequently if you like.

In fact this table arrangement combines a few on-trend colour uses, with the dull gold table frame, greenery and a hint of orange.

For more interiors and trends advice follow @redrowhomes on Instagram or Redrow Homes on Pinterest. Redrow is creating new homes at more than 130 locations across England and Wales. To find your nearest development visit Redrow.

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