Finding a good home in Australia can be tricky but it becomes even tougher when you have a pet. Many landlords will outrightly deny having pets when renting out a home, while some apartments ban all animals as per their bylaws.
Delightfully, the outlook towards animals is rapidly changing and Australia happens to be one of the top countries with the highest rate of pet ownership.
Do you know that 61% of Australian households have a pet today. Three in five Australian households – or 5.9 million in total – have a pet.
So if you are looking for a good home for renting but worried because of your pet, then the following guide will help you make a rental application with pets easier.
Find if it is illegal for Landlords to Say No to Pets
The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 has no terms that prohibit a tenant from keeping a pet or where it is mandatory to have a landlord’s consent before you can keep a pet in the property.
However, this varies depending on the state you live in. For example, if you are looking for a home in Victoria or NSW, it is regarded illegal for landlords to deny having pets. In order to do so, they must apply to a tribunal.
In other territories and states, tenants need to seek the landlord’s permission first. That means the landlord can generally say no to keeping pets without giving any reason thereof.
To know what renting laws apply to your state, you can contact your tenants’ group or local government authority.
If a Property isn’t Advertised as Pet-Friendly, Ask Anyway
One of the best ways to ensure whether the property is pet-friendly or not is to ask the landlord. As more people in Australia are being compassionate towards animals, some landlords would allow pets if they find a good and responsible tenant.
Offer More Rent
Not sure if the landlord will accept you with your pet? A smart solution is to offer him a higher rent – an amount that is irresistible to deny but at the same time, suits your budget. Perhaps your landlord will agree to allow your pet if you are ready to pay more rent.
Get Pet References from Past Landlords or Neighbours
One of the biggest reasons why landlords deny having pets on their property is because of all nuisances they tend to create when remaining untamed or untrained.
To convince your potential landlord, prepare a persuading pet resume that specifically highlights the training it has undergone or the skills it has. Include positive references from your past neighbours or landlords who can attest that your pet was never a problem.
A compelling pet resume, with genuine references, can help persuade the landlord in keeping your pets.
Prepare Training and Health Records of Your Pets
When you are trying to find a home that allows you to keep a pet, then you should either submit a pet resume to the landlord or complete a pet request form. Depending on the information you provide, the landlord will decide whether it is suitable to keep the pet on the premises.
An important piece of information that must go into the pet request form is the pet’s breed, age, training, temperament, health records and other characteristics – why do you think the pet should be given access to the property. So before you look for a home to rent, it is important to ensure that your pet is well-trained and is prepared to live in a community.
It should be properly vaccinated against potential diseases and should be psychologically and emotionally healthy. For example, excessive barking and noise among dogs are generally caused due to an underlying problem such as separation anxiety, boredom or territorial behaviour. This can offend the landlord or your neighbours, and such, your tenancy application may get rejected.
Therefore, get your pet thoroughly checked by a vet and incorporate the information in the pet request form.
Know the Law for Renting with Pets in Australia
Before you ask the landlord or submit your pet request form, you need to know the law regarding renting pets in your region. In Australia, each state has different laws and rules for renting with pets. While it is important to be aware of these, make sure you also take into consideration individual housing complexes’ bylaws that govern the rules regarding keeping pets on the premises.
Get Written Agreements
If the landlord has permitted you to keep a pet on the property, do not forget to get it included in a written agreement. This will help you keep pieces of evidence if you require it later or in case a dispute arises.
Paying for a Pet Bond
If you are planning to live in Western Australia, then you might need to complete a pet bond and pay for it. Many property agents and landlords would require you to pay an additional amount for a pet bond which is over and above the standard 4-weeks bond you need to pay.
According to landlords and agents, the amount received as a pet bond can be utilised in case a mishap happens on the premises or to any third party as a result of the pet. Often, they would include additional terms like having the premises professionally cleaned and fumigated when you move out. This is generally invalid and illegal in many states.
However, the pet bond is often not filed with Renting Services. Instead, the landlord or the agent keeps it in their account. In NSW, pet bonds are unlawful.
Honesty is always the best policy, especially when you are planning to rent a home with pets. If you are hiding your pet-owning status at the time of renting, it can put you at great risks and unwanted stress.
Even if your landlord agrees to keep a pet, you should get the consent of the community corporation or strata to keep an animal with you when renting a home.
Pets bring immense happiness and joy to the lives of human beings. And if you are a good tenant and a responsible pet owner, you will likely present your case well and get a positive response. That is because even landlords and property agents agree that it is better to have a responsible tenant with a pet than a wrong occupant without a pet.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you find the right home where you can live with your pets.