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Property laws: New rules for pets in rental premises

Property laws: New rules for pets in rental premises

New laws in Victoria that allow renters to keep pets at a rental property, with the written permission of the landlord, will soon take effect.

The new law is part of the Victorian government’s renting reforms released in late 2018.

LDB’s specialised property management team has been actively preparing for the various legislative changes that will affect our landlord clients.

Most of these reforms do not take effect until July 1, 2020, however the new laws on pets in rental premises will apply from March 2, 2020.

While a landlord cannot unreasonably refuse to consent to the keeping of pets, they can apply for an order to refuse consent at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 14 days of receiving the tenant’s request.

VCAT will consider the landlord’s application based on the following criteria:

  • the type of pet
  • the character and nature of the property, including appliances, fixtures and fittings
  • whether refusing consent is allowed under any act.

It is our opinion that, in most instances, applications made to VCAT to refuse consent will be denied given the broad interpretation of this criteria.

It is therefore essential that an appropriate ‘pet clause’ is incorporated either within the tenancy agreement, or within the consent, to ensure that the tenant is made responsible for any pet-related damage caused to the premises.

Get advice from LDB’s property experts

If you need help understanding the new laws and your rights and obligations, LDB’s experienced team of property management experts can help.

We can also explain how the new laws apply based on different scenarios to help you plan for the future.

To speak with one of our professional property managers, give us a call on (03) 9875 2900 or fill in the contact form below.

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