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 Home    Your Tenant Wants to Have Their Furry Friend in Your Property – Where Do You Stand?

Your tenant wants to have their furry friend in your property…

 

Where do you stand?

 

Are you hesitant as a landlord to allow your tenant to bring their furry or feathery friend to live in your property? You’re not alone. However, there has been more and more discussion in the past year about allowing pets in rental properties. Where do you stand as a landlord?

 

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Almost two thirds of Australian households today have a pet – that’s 5.9 million households in total! With 90% of households having owned a pet at some point in time, most pet-owners consider their furry companions to be part of the family. So it makes sense that allowing pets in a rental property is going to attract a wider pool of tenants. 

 

Allowing a tenant to have a pet may also strengthen the idea of a rental property as a ‘home’ and incline your tenant to stay in the property long term.

 

It’s no secret that pets have a positive impact on both mental and physical health, particularly for those that live on their own. Over the past year, with the pandemic restricting people from leaving their homes, this has become much more relevant. 

 

The law in Australia has begun to share this sentiment more and more. 

 

In October 2020, pet owners in NSW won the fight to allow pets in their homes, with the NSW Court of Appeal overturning the right of apartment buildings to create bylaws banning pets. The court found that banning animals breaches strata scheme legislation, which prohibits bylaws that are ‘harsh, unconscionable or oppressive’. 

 

In Victoria, new pet clauses in the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act came into force in March 2020, preventing landlords from unreasonably refusing a tenant’s request to have a pet in the property no matter when their lease started.  

 

Queensland rental laws are also under review with respect to pets, with the current framework requiring a landlord’s permission for a tenant to share the property with a four-legged friend. 

 

With all this in mind, it’s important to work out where you stand as a landlord on the subject of pets in your rental property. The shift in your state to allowing pets in rental properties may be upon you!

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