Pets in rental properties | Key facts & what you need to know

Late last week it was announced by Consumer Affairs Victoria that the new “Pets in residential rental properties” legislation changes come into effect on the 2nd of March.

Here are THE FACTS:

  • From 2nd March 2020 pets will be accepted in residential rental properties, except in certain circumstances.
  • A landlord can give written permission OR a tenant can apply to VCAT to obtain an order to allow a pet in the rental property.
  • Written permission for keeping pets in rental properties is required.
  • A tenant must apply for a pet via a prescribed application form approved by the director of CAV. Consumer Affairs VIC “Pet Application Forms” available here:
    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-tools/forms-and-publications
  • Tenant is to complete form and hand into agent. The agent and owner then have 14 Days to respond to that application. Application must be dealt with 14 days of receipt.
  • 1 Pet = 1 Form. 5 Pets = 5 Forms.
  • Ways to reply to an Application form:
    – Written permission from the Landlord approving the pet/s
    – Ignore and in 14 days implied consent
    – Apply to VCAT to say you do not approve the application
  • To apply to VCAT to say no to a pet, you must have reasonable grounds to refuse pet/s in that property.
  • Reasonable grounds for rejecting a pet application must be proven to VCAT and these could be, and not limited to:
    – Pet/s not suitable for the property space
    – The property is not suitable for Pet/s
    – Dangerous or unsafe Pet/s
    – Council guidelines
  • If a pet is found to be at a property WITHOUT an approved application, the Landlord can apply to VCAT to have the pet removed (reasonable grounds).
  • If you obtain an order from VCAT to remove a pet from a property, and 14 days passes since the date on the order, then a 28-day notice to vacate will be given to the tenant and an eviction notice will follow.
  • Failure to comply with a VCAT Pet Removal order with result in tenant eviction.
  • Tenants will need to repair any ‘pet-related’ damage.

There will be 130 changes to the Residential Tenancy Act Victoria by 1st July 2020. We aim to keep all Tenants and Landlords well informed of these changes as they are bought into effect.

Love pets? If you’re renting in Victoria then you should know about some important legislation changes that might affect you.