With the increase of people working from home, so has pet ownership as families are extended with the addition of new furry friends. Whilst attitudes towards tenants with pets are improving and evolving, you still need to consider several things before welcoming your new family member if you are renting.
Do you have permission?
It may seem logical, but if you’re renting, you need to ensure you are permitted to have a pet. The type of property you’re in will determine the levels of approval you’re required to seek before you can introduce your pet to their new home.
Whilst landlords of Sydney properties can refuse to allow you to have a pet without giving any reason, they can’t ask you to pay a pet deposit or charge a higher rental bond.
Saying that, under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW), it’s illegal for a landlord or Strata to refuse you to keep an Assistance Animal.
If you’re in a strata complex like a unit, apartment or townhouse, you need to obtain permission not only from your landlord via your property manager but also through Strata and the Body corporate. Strata will often require that you complete documents and include registration microchipping details, vaccination status and council registration to ensure that you comply with the relevant local government legislation.
Your Property Manager may also ask you to complete a pet application form before they approach the landlord for permission so that they have all the relevant details and as much information as possible to make a well-informed decision.
Unfortunately, if you can’t provide the necessary details, permission for a pet may be declined. If you’re also applying to Strata, while the Owner may approve, the Body Corporate may not.
What are your obligations as a pet owner who’s renting?
It’s exciting to bring a new pet home, but it can also be overwhelming and take weeks or months to settle them into their new environment. You must understand what is expected of you as a new pet owner and a tenant.
Whether Strata or your property manager approves you, you may be asked to sign an agreement outlining your obligations to ensure you understand them.
These may include your obligations as a pet owner when using common areas and caring for the property you rent.
Repairs and replacements
As a tenant with a pet, you’ll be required to ensure that any damage caused by your pet is rectified. If your puppy likes to chew door frames or your cat has decided to climb and tear the flyscreen, expect to repair or replace these at your expense. Likewise, damage to the carpet due to pets scratching needs to be rectified. The cost of damage is subject to ‘mitigation of loss’ and ‘fair wear and tear’.
When it comes to cleaning upon vacate, in NSW, you’re only required to have the property professionally cleaned or fumigated if it’s needed to rectify a specific issue like uncleanliness or an infestation. The fact you simply kept an animal at the property is not grounds for a landlord to insist on professional cleaning.
Access by landlords or agents
Remember that your landlord has the right to access their investment property without your consent and without you being home only in minimal circumstances. If they are aware you have a pet and allow any harm to come to it by leaving a gate open for it to escape whilst they’re there, they may be liable to compensate you.
Noise and nuisance
It goes without saying as a responsible pet owner, you have a responsibility not to interfere with the peace, comfort and privacy of your neighbours.
A pet that makes excessive noise will most likely breach your tenancy agreement. The circumstances, the frequency and the time of day determine reasonable noise.
If your pet likes to chase neighbours or abscond into their yards, their nuisance behaviour will qualify as a breach of your agreement. Ensure your property is appropriate for your pet, which means you must advise your property manager if fences or gates need to be repaired to house your pet safely.
Thinking of adding a pet to your family, chat with our experienced property managers to see what steps you need to take first.
We can help with all those things that you may not already know. You don’t have to be an expert in investing, you just need to know who to call.
Jaime is a seasoned Senior Property Manager and Director with over two decades of expertise. She excels in negotiation, delivering impressive outcomes for her clients. Her focus lies in Sydney’s East and Inner West, with a profound understanding of their distinct features, which she has acquired throughout her career.
She’s a top-notch professional known for her proactive approach, attention to detail, and excellent communication and organisational skills. Her performance-driven mentality and efficient yet calm demeanour result in exceptional service for both landlords and tenants.
Book your one-on-one, obligation-free, consultation with Jaime now. Call her on 0488 600 168 or email email@example.com.