Some new laws were introduced in 2020 around pets in most States which basically say that as a tenant, you are allowed pets in your rental property, and as a Landlord, you need to accept it.
Here’s what you need to know:
- VIC: On 2 March 2020, Victoria rolled out new laws which gave tenants the right to own a pet. Using pet request forms, existing and prospective tenants can put a case forward to be allowed a pet and landlords must not reasonably refuse. If a landlord is to refuse the request, they must submit that dispute to be heard by tribunal.
- NT: On 18 February 2020, the Northern Territory parliament passed a landmark amendment bill to give tenants the right to keep a pet by notifying their landlord in writing. If there is reasonable belief the landlord will suffer hardship, or the community is put at risk if the pet stays in the home, this can be challenged at tribunal.
- ACT: For landlords and property managers in the Australian Capital Territory, new laws came into effect on 1 November 2019 which prevented the exclusion of pets being written into leases. Each tenant’s request for a pet will now be handled on a case by case basis. Again, if a landlord wants to refuse the tenant’s request to have a pet, they will need to go to tribunal.
- QLD: A review into the Queensland’s tenancy act got underway late in 2019. Renting with pets was high on the agenda. Currently all tenants must get permission in writing as part of the tenancy agreement to have pets in a property.
For states that are yet to move on any changes, there are already some clear guidelines and protections in place for landlords who allow pets in their properties.
- SA: In South Australia, pet agreements are required for any lease that allows pets to lay out clear ground rules for property maintenance and management.
- WA: Western Australia is currently the only state to allow a pet bond to be taken when a pet is named on the lease. A sum of up to $260 can be held to pay for fumigation costs once a tenant vacates.
- TAS: If landlords in Tasmania allow pets, the tenant must also arrange for fumigation of the property at the end of the lease. Unlike Western Australia, a separate bond can’t be set aside for this, but it can be written as a condition of the rental agreement.