See More, Know More: Pets and Renting On Your Mind
What you need to know and where you stand as a Tenant or Landlord.
Recent legislation was passed that has now made it easier for Tenants (renters) to cohabit with furry housemates. The Residential Tenancies Authority have made changes to the legislation that directly affect Tenant’s and their rights to make pet additions. These changes have come into effect as of March 2nd, 2020.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz said in a statement, “pets are part of what makes a house feel like a home for many Victorians,” We agree more! It should always be an option to make your rental house a home and bring the whole family along, no matter what species.
So let’s get down to the brass tacks! What does this mean for…
- If you’d like to keep a pet, you must give your Landlord a completed Pet request form. (Follow this link to get your Pet Request Form);
- Your Landlord can only refuse a pet request if the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) orders that it is reasonable to do so;
- A ‘pet’ means any animal except an assistance dog (a dog trained to help a person with a disability);
- Your Landlord has 14 days to dispute your request with VCAT. After this period, if you have not heard from them, you are allowed to keep your pet!;
- If you are successful with your application, you still have the duty as Tenants to avoid damaging the premises, keep the premises reasonably clean and not causing a nuisance or interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours;
- If you keep a pet without consent, the Landlord can apply to VCAT for an order to exclude your pet from the premises.
- To consent to a pet request, notify the Tenant in writing. Be sure to use the Tenant’s address for serving documents, listed at number 1 on the Pet request form;
- Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, you must not unreasonably refuse consent for a Tenant to keep a pet on the rented premises;
- If you want to refuse consent, you MUST apply to VCAT within 14 days, of you receiving the application form. If you do not apply within 14 days, this will mean you have consented to the pet request;
- If you apply to VCAT, there are two possible outcomes, including:
If VCAT makes an order excluding the pet from the premises, the Tenant has 14 days to comply with the order after it takes effect. If the Tenant has not complied with the order after 14 days, the Landlord can serve them with a notice to vacate, giving a minimum of 28 days’ notice.
- 1.The Landlord’s refusal is reasonable and/or the pet is excluded from the property, OR;
- 2.The Tenant can keep the pet on the rental property;
Just a couple of pet friendly tips before you get started…
- Complete a Pet request form for EACH pet.
- Include some information as to why you think your pet is well-suited to this property. This could include information about your pet’s characteristics or references from vets, trainers, previous Landlords or neighbours.
- Double check that your pet doesn’t break any of your local council’s laws, this will override your Landlord’s decision.
- Reasons that your Landlord or VCAT could refuse your request include type of pet, type of property, appliance/fixtures/fittings and any other relevant laws that may affect your pet.
- If your Landlord is successful in disputing your pet request with VCAT, you have 14 days to remove the pet from the premises. If you do not comply within 14 days, your Landlord may issue you a minimum of 28 day’s notice to vacate the premises.
- Landlords cannot and should not ask you for a ‘pet bond’.
Like all legislation passed there are anomalies that need to be predicated to ensure our Landlords and Tenants are aware of how this can and will affect you respectively.
If you would like more information on the new pet laws, then contact one of our offices today, and see more out of your Property Manager. We want to keep you informed, so when in doubt give us a call, and we’ll alleviate any concerns you may have, and offer the right advice to see you and your investment thrive.
Got a furry question…. give us a call or pop into your local Stockdale & Leggo office today.