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Pets and Renting

By Emma Smith

From Consumer Affairs Victoria website

In Victoria, there are no laws that directly cover pets in tenancies or residencies. However, it is possible to include a clause that bans pets in a lease. A prospective tenant could accept, reject or negotiate such a clause.

Should you say No to pets?
The simple answer is – ‘It depends and is the landlord’s choice.’
As a managing agent it is not our role to make this decision. However, it is our duty of care to educate landlords on the pros and cons.
Saying yes to pets can lead to unnecessary property damage, complaints, smells and fleas to name a few, but that can be no different to some tenants minus the fleas [this was meant to give you a giggle]. The upside of accepting pets is that you can often achieve a higher rent and attract more tenant enquiry.

There are some great quality tenants who have pets.

When prospective tenants apply to rent a property, there is provision on the application form to include number and type of pets. We also ask tenants to sign a separate document relating to keeping the pet at the premises in accordance with legislation and council by-laws. For example, we ask that the tenant ensures that their pet is not a nuisance to neighbours. Please refer to City of Greater Geelong for more information regarding pets

Assistance animals (Consumer Affairs Victoria)
Assistance animals are not pets, but rather are highly trained disability support services that enable a person with disability to safely participate in personal and public life activities.
Tenants who use assistance animals, such as guide dogs, cannot be discriminated against when applying for a rental property, or if they obtain an assistance animal during a lease.

An assistance animal is defined under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 as an animal trained to perform tasks or functions that assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effects of their disability.

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