06 Nov 2017

Brisbane squeezing pets out of city

FURBABIES are being squeezed out of the Queensland capital, with latest data showing over 80 per cent of Brisbane rental properties banned families with pets.

The restrictions have put pet owners under pressure, facing higher bond costs and red tape like the need to produce “pet resumes” to compete for a shrinking pool of properties. Others unable to find the right property have had to make the ultimate decision to either urgently rehome or put down the family pet.

Analysis of data on realestate.com.au showed that despite the wild popularity of furbabies, they were only permitted in 19.1 per cent of rental listings ins Greater Brisbane.

The situation gets worse closer to the CBD, with pet friendly properties making up less than 15 per cent of rentals in inner Brisbane.

More than 8100 properties were currently listed as available for tenancy in Greater Brisbane, with pets allowed in just 1563 of them. Over 800 listings made particular mention of a strict no pets policy.

Desperate owners have resorted to giving animals away via shelters, Facebook and sites like Gumtree where a free English Staffy has remained available for two weeks. The anguished owner was moving to a place where pets were not allowed and said “I don’t give away my animals easily this has been a very hard decision”.

Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager, agreed the situation was becoming more commonplace.

“A number of animals have to be relinquished and sadly destroyed,” she said. “People say all the time, I have to move, we can’t take the pet, we don’t want to have him or her put down. It’s terrible to see but seems to be more and more common.”

She said there was an opportunity for landlords given the lack of pet-friendly properties, but there was also a lot of fear over damage that could be done by pets with irresponsible owners.

Brisbane couple Victoria Lightfoot and John Hawkins resorted to building their rescue dog Annie a “pet resume” detailing her training and behaviour.

“It definitely has been hard,” Ms Lightfoot said. “We’re very lucky in our current property because my friend owns the house and she offered it to us because we had Annie. Previous to that we had a property that allowed pets but it was very hard to get anyone to say yes.”

Ms Lightfoot’s tips to get a foot in the door including getting a detailed pet character reference.

“It’s legit, they asked for it. I kind of get it because you could have a hideous beast that wreaks the property. But we’re happy to pay more bond if that makes us more desirable applicants.”

Another strategy, she said, was to go for a higher costing property.

“Even though it would be a push to pay rent, we thought perhaps that would be easier, more space in a nicer area and people are less likely to think the worst of you. We didn’t want to choose something so far away just because we had a dog.”

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