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C&G’s Guide to Renting with Pets
It’s no secret Australians love pets – in fact, we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world! Another fact is more people are choosing to lease their homes, with many tenants staying in situ for long periods of time. Likewise, landlords are sprucing up their properties so you feel more at home – although for some tenants this means Spike and Fido get to move in! With the newly rolled-out rental reforms it’s much easier to get your furry children approved on the lease, but there’s some fiddly paperwork you should be across before this happens. C&G’s latest blog contains a useful checklist of important reminders when renting with pets – read on!
Ask for permission
It’s only polite to let your landlord know! From the 2nd of March 2020 tenants requesting pets will need to complete a Pet Request Form for each animal they plan on keeping on the premises. This includes filling out basic information such as breed, age, names, microchip and council tag numbers. You can also provide information about your pet’s temperament, training and other characteristics that could prove how wonderful a tenant they’ll be. Extra points if your pet has rental history from a previous lease! Finally, attach an adorable photo that no one can say ‘no’ to!
According to the new reforms, landlords can only refuse a pet with a reasonable answer. They can also only do this after applying through VCAT and providing the relevant response. This also needs to be done within 14 days of receiving the tenant’s request. Likewise, if VCAT decide the pet is not appropriate for a property, they can provide an order that instructs the tenant to remove the pet within 14 days.
Check all the owners corporation rules and local council laws
If you are residing in an apartment, do check your building and owners corporation rules to make sure they allow pets! This also applies to local council laws if you’re renting a house or unit. These can still prevent you from keeping a pet, even if your landlord grants you permission! To enquire about local laws regarding animals, check out this page.
Pets are people too
You’ve sent off the paperwork and your landlord loves Rocco – great! It’s pretty much smooth sailing from here, as long as you remember your pet is also a tenant and has to abide by (almost) the same rules. This includes keeping the interior of the property clean and undamaged, and not interfering with the reasonable peace, comfort and privacy of your neighbours.
While landlords and owners cannot ask for an extra ‘pet bond,’ the damage caused by your pet outside the confines of normal wear and tear will factor into your bond return when you end the lease. Think carefully and consider how much you’re willing to invest before committing to a new housemate!
Consumer Affairs Victoria has plenty of useful information on renting with pets, and outlines in detail your rights and obligations in regard to pet ownership. You can also contact the friendly property management team at Chisholm and Gamon with your questions! We have years of experience working with landlords, owners and tenants and are well-informed of all new rental reforms and legislation.