What are the rules for renting with pets?
Are pets allowed in Australian rental properties?
Renting with a pet really does depend on which Australian state you live in and the current laws in place. Though the rules have been quite strict in the past, some have relaxed recently to favour pet owners.
What can I do to help my chances of renting with a pet?
Firstly, it’s worth preparing and researching to make sure you’re doing the right thing by your landlord and furry friend. Fortunately, many state government websites offer helpful resources, such as pet application forms and pet agreement forms.
Secondly, you can go the extra mile in your rental application. For example, include photographs, breed information and references from past landlords or your pet sitter.
Above all, it’s always a good idea to have everything in writing with your landlord to prevent problems in the future.
And lastly, please note that this guide is in relation to domestic pets, and not guide dogs or assistance animals.
What are the rules for renting with a pet in my state?
The rules do differ from state to state, so we've put together an overview for you. Be sure to head to the official websites for more specific information.
New South Wales
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)
Things are also changing in NSW for renters and their pets.
A ruling by the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the right of apartment blocks to ban pets. Following this, new legislation could be created to be more specific about renting with pets, or there could be another appeal to the High Court.
Some individual landlords may include ‘no pet’ clauses in their lease agreements. If it’s unclear if you can bring a pet into the rental, be sure to discuss this with your landlord. They might allow you to rent with your pet if you agree to a professional clean and fumigation when you move out.
Head to the Tenants Union of NSW for more information and resources.
Australian Capital Territory
Relevant legislation - Residential Tenancies Act 1997
The ACT had some amendments to their renting laws in 2019 which make life a bit easier for pet owners. If a renter requests to own a pet in their property and the landlord says no, the landlord must go through a tribunal. Following this, the tribunal can rule in favour of the landlord or pet owner. Additionally, they might specify certain conditions if the pet is allowed to stay.
Head to the ACT Government website for more information.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancies Act (1997)
Things have been changing for renting pet owners in Victoria in recent years.
For example, in March of 2020, new laws meant that tenants could request to bring a pet into their home. Furthermore, the landlord must go through a tribunal if they decline the request. This is hopefully a positive step for renters and their furry friends in Victoria.
Notably, if your pet causes damage or mess in the property, you may be liable to pay for this.
Head to Consumer Affairs Victoria for tips on completing a pet request form.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
In Western Australia, the landlord can include a ‘no pet’ clause in their rental agreement and is the one who has the final say. However, they might have to say no because of body corporate rules, even if they don’t mind you owning a pet. They are allowed to ask for a ‘pet bond' in case there is damage when you move out.
Things might change in the future as the Department of Commerce is reviewing the current laws on renting with pets.
Head to the Government of Western Australia website for more information.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009
In Queensland, you might be able to have a pet in your property if your rental agreement allows this. Notably, the lease might also include professional cleaning and fumigating when you move out.
Like some other states, your landlord is allowed to include a ‘no pet’ clause. However, if it isn’t clear, you will need to ask your landlord for permission to bring a pet into your home.
Head to the Queensland Government Rental Tenancy Agreement site for more information.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancy Act (1997)
In Tasmania, you can bring a pet into your rental home if it’s allowed on the lease and the landlord has agreed.
Furthermore, you will need to leave the property as you found it, which may include a professional clean or fumigation. Notably, any property damage by the pet is the responsibility of the renting pet owner.
Head to the Tasmanian Government website for more details.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancies Act 1999 and Residential Tenancies Regulations 2000.
A landlord can have a ‘no pets’ clause in their lease. As such, the renter has to ask permission to own a pet before they sign.
Hopefully, change might be on the horizon for pet owners. The law was amended in February 2020, allowing renters who want to own a pet to request this. And if the landlord says no, they would need to apply to a tribunal, who have the final say.
Landlords have raised some concerns about these changes. And unfortunately, the covid pandemic means the new rules have yet to take effect.
Head to the Northern Territory Consumer Affairs website for more information.
- Local legislation - Residential Tenancy Act (1995)
In South Australia, the landlord has the final say on whether pets are allowed in the rental property. In addition, they can ask for a professional clean and fumigation when you vacate. They might also hold extra inspections.
Finally, if you live in an apartment block, your landlord will be bound the body corporate rules about pets.
Visit the South Australian Government website for more information.
Above all, we can help if you’re a renter with a pet and worry about your pet scratching walls or digging the garden during the day! A Pawshake pet sitter can step in to keep them happy and exercised. Just head to our homepage and search for a sitter near you.