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Renting with pets: a pathway to housing insecurity?

By Emma R. Power

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Companion animals are rarely considered in rental policy or research. This absence belies their prevalence and growing centrality within practices of family and home, and persists despite evidence of links between companion animals and rental insecurity. This paper begins to address this gap. Through an online survey and in-depth interviews with people who rented with companion animals in Sydney, Australia, over the 10 years to 2013, the paper identifies connections between pet ownership and rental insecurity, including perceptions about the low availability and poor quality of advertised ‘pet-friendly’ properties. The paper argues that pet ownership can trigger feelings of rental insecurity, and advocates for inclusion of pet ownership as a variable impacting secure occupancy. It suggests companion animals are an escalating rental risk, their significance to their owners causing some to accept accelerating levels of rental insecurity by keeping pets without landlord knowledge. These experience impact on the ability of renters to feel ‘at home’ in rental properties.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Housing Studies
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 336-360
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/02673037.2016.1210095
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Emma R. Power (2018), "Renting with pets: a pathway to housing insecurity?,"

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  1. Animal roles
  2. Housing
  3. Pets and companion animals