In 2019, an Amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act was made regarding Pets in rental properties.
So what does this mean for tenants and owners?
In short, the tenant must seek the owners consent to keep a pet, but the owner cannot unreasonably refuse this request.
For an owner to refuse a pet request, they must seek the approval of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal will then consider the following questions;
- Is the property unsuitable for keeping pets?
- Would keeping the animal result in unreasonable property damage?
- Would keeping an animal on the property be an unacceptable risk to public health and safety?
- Would the landlord would suffer significant hardship?
- Could keeping the animal be contrary to the law?
With the above in mind, the general consensus across the ACT is that tenants, under reasonable circumstances, can keep pet/s in their rental property.
On approval by the owner, we provide our tenants with a ‘Pet Clause’ for signing and this must be returned prior to the animal being kept on the premises. The Pet Clause reiterates the responsibility on the pet owner to ensure no damage occurs to the property, and if it does it must be remedied by the tenant, and also that the pet is restrained and does not put neighbours or the community in danger. Additionally, the tenant is required to have the property professionally fumigated upon vacating the home.
Many of our rental homes have pets and in the significant majority cause no damage or need for concern. However, it is important that both the tenant and owner are aware of their rights and obligations when it comes to pets being added to a Tenancy Agreement.
We are available to clarify any of these details further and answer any questions when it comes to the matter of pets.