Renting with a Pet in Victoria
Renting can be a quite a challenge with a pet, especially if you want to live in the inner city. Renters are protected by law that a rental provider must not unreasonably refuse consent to keep a pet on the rented premises, however there are definitely some hoops to jump through to get to this stage.
We have prepared an information guide below how to best the navigate this situation.
Landlords are now called rental providers
Tenants are now called renters
Leases are now called rental agreements
Searching for a property
It is essential for any renter to seek permission to have a pet join them at their new residence through an agreement with the rental provider
Pet request forms can be found online, after completing the form remember to always keep a copy for yourself. The rental provider then have 14 days from the date they receive the form, to make a decision
Help make the decision easier for the rental provider by giving detailed information about why the pet would be suitable to be kept at the property. Things to include are age, temperament, training, a reference from your treating veterinarian (clients feel free to contact us at Oakleigh Central Veterinary Clinic for one), trainer, previous rental provider and/or neighbour. Features of the property that aim in the ease of maintaining an appropriate environment and level of safety for your pet (locked gate, adequately tall fences, 24 hour back yard access).
The rental provider can try to negotiate conditions for keeping a pet on the property. For example, they might say the pet is not allowed inside. If the renter does not agree to the conditions and the rental provider wants to exclude the pet, they must apply to VCAT.
When the pet request is refused by the rental provider:
Consider if the reason provided by the rental provider is reasonable
If the renter feels the reason provided by the rental provider is unreasonable then they can apply to VCAT and then VCAT will make a decision on if the refusal is considered reasonable or not.
VCAT will consider the following when making their decision:
The type of pet the renter wants to keep
The type of property the renter has applied for (including appliances, fixtures and fittings in the property)
Other relevant laws (for example, if the pet is prohibited by a local council law)
When its illegal to be refused by the rental provider:
It is considered discrimination if an assistance dog is denied as they are not considered pets and are essential for aiding someone with a disability.
When permission is granted:
Ensure you receive consent in writing that includes the rental property address and details of your pet
You have a responsibility to keep their rental property clean and to avoid damage to the property
If you are moving into an apartment the pet must also cooperate with the owners corporation that manages common areas. A copy of these requirements should be provided to the renter by the rental provider when they move in.
Not choosing to seek permission of rental provider:
If you've done the sneaky and have a pet at your new rental without seeking permission from a rental provider please be aware that the rental provider can apply to VCAT for an order to exclude the pet from the property.
After moving in:
If the owners corporation decides the pet is dangerous or is causing a nuisance, the renter may have to remove the pet.