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 In Lifestyle Property Management

Proposed Reforms to Renting with Pets

There is little doubt that Australians have an enduring love for their pets; we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. If passed, the new legislation will prevent landlords from ‘unreasonably refusing’ tenants’ requests to keep pets.

There is little doubt that Australians have an enduring love for their pets; we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. A report presented by the RSPCA found that 39 per cent of households own a dog, while 29 per cent own a cat.

In October 2017, a number of reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act were proposed including a change to legislation which currently allows landlords to specify a ‘no pets’ clause within rental agreements. If passed, the new legislation will prevent landlords from ‘unreasonably refusing’ tenants’ requests to keep pets.

Ambiguity still exists within with these reforms and defining what constitutes an ‘unreasonable refusal’ will be part of the process of introducing the agreed reforms to the Victorian Parliament. Applicability in unique circumstances such as heritage dwellings will also need to be deliberated, with possible grounds to refuse pets where anticipated repair costs are excessive.

While it is expected that these reforms will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament in 2018, the looming November state election could delay the process. According to the current timeline, the earliest that these laws will be implemented will be 2019.

In the meantime, pet owners looking for homes may want to address the potential concerns of landlords in advance. Including information on your application that describes your pet’s typical behaviour and overall health may help to assuage fears of property damage or disruption to neighbours. Supplementary items you can attach to your rental application include:

  • Pet references from your vet or previous landlord
  • Evidence of regular health check ups
  • Certificates of pet training courses
  • Details of your pet’s grooming regime

“While it is expected that these reforms will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament in 2018, the looming November state election could delay the process. According to the current timeline, the earliest that these laws will be implemented will be 2019”.

The proposed changes aim to enrich the relationship and well being of owners, tenants and their pets. In the interim, a landlord is more likely to approve a request for a pet if compatibility of pet and property can be demonstrated.

Our Marshall White Property Management Team can assist if you have any questions. For more information contact us on (03) 9822 8711.

Images

  1. com/113325/take-me-home-dog-picture
  2. http://2ctksw85dcap3jo52b29rxwf.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/180117dogWP.jpg
  3. https://www.avillahomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ING_37293_02895.jpg
  4. https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/411727590928352264/
  5. http://images.indianexpress.com/2017/08/dogs_ie_759.jpg
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