With Victoria recently passing new pet rental laws to help make renting with pets easier, Queensland is now next.
The problem with pet rental laws
While over 60% of Australian homes have a pet, only 10% of rentals in Queensland allow pets. This leads to a lot of stress, hidden pets during inspections and many surrenders. Animal Welfare League Queensland has reported that 25% of all the pets surrendered to them are by renters that can’t find places to live that allow them to keep their pet.
Ideally, we believe it should be illegal to discriminate against pet owners. How you achieve this with pet rental laws in practice is a hard thing. You could have a “don’t have to declare policy”, a “declare, but the landlord cannot unreasonably refuse” (like VIC), or a “special pet bond”(like WA). Each has plusses and minuses.
Generally, landlords are concerned with the damage that can occur by pets to their investment property. On the flip side, renting pet owners tend to stay in the same place for longer meaning landlords benefit from lower vacancies, advertising and re-rental costs.
I have some personal experience with this on both sides. I rent out a house in regional Victoria. There was no way I could work in the pet industry and not rent allow pets, so I have always accepted them. The first tenant did not say they had a dog. After they left and I inspected there was a lot of chewing damage on the veranda. The inside of the house was also thick with fleas. So not a great first experience. Since then there have been other pet owners that have all been great tenants.
I am now spending a lot of time in Melbourne to get Scratch started. I tried to find a place that would allow me to have Snoop. It was impossible. So, every time I go to Melbourne, Snoop stays behind with family. ☹
As pet parents, it is vital that if we are lucky enough to have pets in a rental property, we are responsible pet owners. Own up to any damage that might occur, and leave a good impression. This way, landlords are more likely to allow pets in the future.
Submissions from the public are now open until 30 November so get in quick with the changes you want to see to Queensland pet rental laws.
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