How Can I Pet Proof My Rental Property?

July 2024

Read Time: 3 Minutes

With the recent announcement of pet bonds for tenants it’s a good time to consider pet-proofing your property.  While a pet bond will offer some peace of mind to landlords, it's important to ensure your property is set up before welcoming pets in rental properties. Pet safety, damage minimisation and understanding restrictions are top considerations.

Prioritise Pet Safety 

If you're marketing your property to tenants with dogs a fully fenced garden area is a high priority. Consider removing plants that are toxic to pets and opt for simple landscaping. A grassed area will be a big drawcard. 

Fences should be high enough to be fit for purpose and regularly maintained to avoid any escapes! 

Understand Which Plants are Toxic to Pets 

Toxic plants to watch out for in New Zealand include tulips, rhododendron, bird of paradise, chrysanthemum, black nightshade, carnations, daffodils, foxgloves, lilies, karaka tree berries, aloe vera and ivy. While it may not be practical to remove all these plants it is a good idea to alert your tenants to their presence.

Secure Electrical Cords 

Preventing pets from chewing on electrical cords is important to avoid hazards. Cord protectors and cable clips can be used to secure and hide cords, making them less accessible. 

Install Suitable Flooring 

Durable flooring materials such a tiles, laminate or vinyl are ideal for pets. Hard wood flooring can also be easily cleaned but may be damaged by sharp claws. 

Consider Tenancy Agreement Conditions 

Landlords may include reasonable conditions in tenancy agreements to limit potential damage to the property or excessive noise from pets. If there are areas in your house that are unsuitable for pets, this can be specified in the tenancy agreement.  

There may be restrictions on keeping pets for landlords with unit title or cross lease properties. It’s important to check the conditions of your body corporate rules or leases.  

Understand the process around allowing pets in a body corporate.

Look into Pet Bond Legislation 

Landlords will soon be able to charge an additional pet bond (set at a maximum of two weeks’ rent) under amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act introduced to Parliament in May.  

The change comes alongside the ability for tenants to be held liable for all pet damage beyond "fair wear and tear" and the requirement for tenants to only have a pet with the consent of the landlord. 

Read more about the pet bond announced for tenants.

What are the Advantages of Allowing Pets? 

Pet proofing your rental property may seem like a lot of extra work, but there are definite advantages to allowing pets in rental properties.  

Tenants often find it hard to find pet friendly places to rent. Once tenants have found a home that allows their furry friends, it's likely they'll stay longer. Accepting pets also opens your property up to an increased pool of tenants and makes it likely you will rent your property more quickly. Dogs can also help increase the security in rental properties. 

Find out how a Crockers Property Manager can help you  or  request a Property Management information pack here. 
If you’d like some further advice, contact our Property Management team on or call for a chat on 09 623 5952.


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