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01-09-2013

Pet bonds by the book: Whitburn

Landlords.co.nz

Landlords who charge a “pet bond” must make sure it does not equate to more than four weeks’ rent, says Auckland Property Investors Association president David Whitburn.

Pet bonds have been in the news recently, with reports that some landlords in Christchurch’s tight rental market had been asking for bigger bonds and higher rents from those with pets looking for property.

They have been warned that the Tenancy Tribunal would not look upon it favourably.

But Independent Property Managers' Association president Martin Evans told media that Christchurch pet owners were having a hard time because even people who had never expected to become tenants again had been forced back into the rental market.

He had approached the Government to ask for a temporary reprieve to allow pet bonds until the housing supply constraints in the city ease. The Government said it was not something it was seriously looking at.

Whitburn said landlords taking on tenants with animals should charge them the full four weeks’ bond. “Even if the tenants have to pay the bond in instalments.”

Legally, four weeks’ rent as bond and two weeks’ rent in advance was the most landlords could charge, he said. “Perhaps some landlords may be naughty and charge [more],” he said. “Hope not!”

But he said would-be tenants should be prepared to pay more in rent if they wanted to have animals, because there was a smaller pool of landlords who were prepared to consider them.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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