Home Is Where The Pet Is

Anyone who has ever tried to rent a home with a pet, knows how discriminatory it can be, with the vast majority of desirable properties simply denied them. Having to surrender a much loved family fur baby when property owners refuse to accept tenants with pets, is not only devastating for both owners and animals, but also contributes to almost 20% of the RSPCA’s annual rescue intake.

Happily for animal owning tenants, existing rules allowing landlords to automatically include a ‘no pets’ clause in their rental agreements, are set to change. In a raft of sweeping reforms to the tenancy rules, every Victorian renter may soon be able to apply for permission to keep a pet.

A landlord may only be able to refuse a pet under certain circumstances, such as where a local council has banned backyard chickens for example. While the time to correct the perception that all animals are destructive is well overdue, certain checks and balances will nevertheless be required to protect the owner’s investment. Certain animals too, may be ruled out of specific heritage properties should the cost of possible repairs be deemed too high, however, in the event of a refusal, a renter has the right to appeal to VCAT or the courts.

This tenancy reform is welcome news to pet owners who understand the flow on effects of living with animals, from fitness, stress release, security and companionship, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and even the odd axolotl make our lives better, healthier and happier.

More information: https://www.vic.gov.au/rentfair/pets-are-welcome.html