New Pet-Friendly Rental Laws Will Kick Into Gear In Victoria Next Week
When deciding whether to get a pet, one of the biggest hurdles is figuring out if the animal will be a good fit for your home. You might have the space, all the toys and enough food to feed them for months, but some landlords have firm rules against bringing pets into their properties.
If you've been struggling with this quandary, you might want to consider moving to Victoria next week.
The Australian state will be bringing in a new rule that gives pet owners a better say in whether they can have a pet roaming around their property.
The law change will put the onus on the landlord to provide exceptional circumstances as to why you're not allowed to have a pet. If they can't then you're free to have your fur baby in your home.
Renters will still have to apply to their landlord to kick off the process and if the owner has a problem with the application then the matter will go to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. VCAT will look at the type of pet you're looking to get, to decide whether it will be suitable in your current living arrangement.
The landlord will have two weeks to lodge a challenge at the Tribunal, but if that doesn't come through in time then you're in the clear.
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While the owner won't be able to ask you for an animal bond, they will be able to charge you for any damage that happens as a result of your pet during your tenancy.
The rule change has been a long time coming for animal welfare advocates, who have argued that the previous law was responsible for many people giving up their pets in order to keep renting.
RSPCA Victoria revealed in 2017 that nearly 1,200 dogs or cats were surrendered to them over two years from renters who weren't able to keep them.
Chief executive Liz Walker told realestate.com.au: "We have long held concerns about existing rules that allow landlords to automatically include a 'no pets' clause in rental agreements.
"RSPCA Victoria deals daily with animal owners who have no choice but to surrender their animals to us, either to get into the rental market or when moving to a new rental property... causing significant stress and grief to the owner, and to the pet."
But from Tuesday 2 March, that will be a thing of the past.
Featured Image Credit: PA