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A guide to renting with pets

A guide to renting with pets

A guide to renting with pets

Science has proven that pets bring people joy. But if you’ve ever been a pet owner, we’re sure that you don’t need any scientific research to confirm that. You’ve already experienced it first-hand.

 

Pets make you happy for a plethora of reasons. They are a source of both comfort and entertainment, they help keep you active, they can reduce your stress and anxiety, and you know they’re always there for you.

 

Pets aren’t just friends, they’re family.

 

That’s why seeing a “No pets allowed” rule in an apartment you want to move into can be a total dealbreaker, making it even harder for people to find the right home to settle in, and for landlords to find new tenants.

 

Thankfully, renting with pets isn’t as tough as it used to be.

 

With Australia having one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, lawmakers have acknowledged that the law favoured the landlords more than tenants in this regard, and so legislation needed to be changed.

 

Now, renters have more rights as pet owners, and attitudes towards allowing pets in rental properties have become more positive in recent years.

 

This guide will help you better understand your rights and expectations when renting with pets - as a tenant, or as a landlord.

What the law states when renting with pets

 

Most of us love having pets, so banning pet ownership in an apartment can give rise to several problems for tenants - potential or otherwise.

 

Around 61% of households in Australia have pets, and collectively, there are more than 29 million pets in the country. And with 31% of Australians being renters, it’s not hard to see why the laws around pet ownership in rental properties had to be changed.

 

In the past, renting apartments was difficult for pet lovers. While each state and territory has legislation regarding legal rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, the majority of these laws made no mention of pet ownership.

 

Now, some new laws prevent landlords from unreasonably rejecting their tenants’ requests to take in pets, depending on where you live. So as long as you’re not illegally bringing exotic or endangered animals with you, you have a fair chance of living with a pet in the property you’re renting.

 

Generally, tenants have the right to keep a pet with the landlord’s consent, but how this works is a little different per state and territory:

 

  • Victoria - Tenants must now request their landlord’s consent if they want to bring a new pet into the property, regardless of when their lease started. Likewise, landlords cannot refuse without good reason.

  • New South Wales - The law doesn’t prohibit tenants from owning pets, and it doesn’t require them to ask for consent from the landlords. However, many landlords include a clause that restricts pets in the tenancy agreement, and the law doesn’t prohibit them from applying this.

  • Queensland - Tenants need to ask for permission to keep a pet in the property, but unlike the new legislation in Victoria, the landlord has the right to refuse.

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