Our penchant for pets makes them not only a beloved member of our family, but also a significant influence in our housing arrangements. With recent changes to the law, it has become crucial for homeowners, landlords and tenants alike to consider pets in their property plans.
62 per cent of Australian households have at least one pet, with New South Wales and Victoria the most animal-friendly states, collectively home to 60 per cent of the country’s pets. Victoria recently enacted new housing guidelines favouring pet owners by making it more difficult for landlords to prohibit domestic animals in rentals. However, the costs of property damage caused by pets remains the tenant’s responsibility, as it does in New South Wales, per the 2010 Residential Tenancies Act.
“Australians already spend around $12.2 billion annually on pets, so it’s important to reduce other unnecessary costs where possible,” says Andrew Weeks, Business Development Manager at Cyclone. “Pet owners can easily help avoid expensive repairs by making simply adjustments at home, and help protect the security deposit of renters. For landlords, proper pet-proofing can also reduce future maintenance costs and broaden rental appeal in a competitive market.”
Not surprisingly, the most popular critters are the fluffy kind – 38 per cent of Australian households own a dog, and 29 per cent own a cat. Here, Andrew gives his top five tips for claw-based damage control:
- Scratching on the doors and windows is the universal signal for ‘let me out or in’ – and pets can be particularly enthusiastic when someone walks past. Cyclone’s Pet Mesh is an ideal addition for doors and windows, as it is specially designed to resist paws, claws and gnawing. It is made with heavy gauge polyester and is six times stronger than standard insect screening, providing impressive visibility through the screen while keeping pets securely in/out. It is stabilised for UV endurance, while the black finish minimises glare and will also keep insects securely out. It is also self-installable so no need for costly installation.
- Invest in a few products that are intentionally made for destroying, for example a rope toy or scratching post. Chewing is a normal canine inclination, cats need and want to scratch, so providing them with a proper outlet will reduce the risk to your furniture.
- Keep your pet’s nails properly trimmed. This will prevent them from snagging on carpets or leaving marks on hard surfaces. Nail trims are especially important for larger breeds, as they exert more pressure on the ground.
- Inside, install materials that resist scratching and chewing, such as tile or laminate flooring. Putting plastic door protectors on the bottom of doorways is a very affordable way to keep interiors intact. If you have timber floors, lay down rugs in high traffic areas to avoid surface wear and tear.
- Outside, fence in a portion of the property so pets have a space to be active but are still contained. Fencing will prevent animals from wandering onto neighbours’ lawns, destroying gardens, and digging in inappropriate areas. It also confines their bathroom space, making for easier clean-up and limiting grass loss from what our furry friends leave behind.
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