Victoria’s Rental Reforms - a win for our furry friends!
August 10, 2020
In another great win for the pets of Australia, on 2 March 2020, Victoria’s Pets in Rental Properties reform came into effect. This reform was part of the Victorian Government’s broader rental reforms from the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018.
These changes have given tenants the right to keep their pets in rental properties as long as they provide a consent form from Consumer Affairs (Pet request form). Tenants must still ensure they leave the property in a reasonably clean condition and pay for anything exceeding “fair wear and tear”. Landlords cannot ask for an additional bond as a ‘pet bond’.
Tenants must request their landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into their property, and there is legal protection to ensure landlords cannot unreasonably refuse this request. The date at which the lease started does not matter, however, these laws do not apply to pets that were present before 2 March 2020, as there were previously no laws directly covering pets in rented homes.
Once consent has been requested by a tenant, the landlord must respond in writing to confirm the request. If the landlord wishes to refuse the request, they have 14 days to apply to VCAT, who will then determine whether the request is reasonable or not.
The reforms show Victoria’s continued commitment to our furry friends and strike a great balance between ensuring renters can make their rental property a home and protecting landlords’ investments in the property.