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How to get your landlord's permission to rent with a pet

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Australia's housing affordability crisis is causing young renters to delay many of life's milestones: marriage, children, and even pet ownership.

"In the current renting market it can be almost impossible to find the perfect place where our beloved cats and dogs are welcome," says Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia.

One solution is the new pet resume by Rent.com.au

With just 25% of listings on the rental and accommodation website classified as pet-friendly dwellings, the pet resume was created to encourage owners to consider allowing pets in properties.

renting with a pet rent with a pet

"This is wonderful for the industry as many times property owners would consider allowing a pet if they knew the full background and behavioural tendencies of the animal," Crighton says.

"It's basically allowing pet owners to showcase how responsible they are, and how good their pet is."

The pet resume typically includes breed, vaccination history, registration information, training experience, plus notes about a pet's exercise, behaviour and housetraining.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2.16 million renting families are pet owners, so pet-friendly rentals do exist.

"Many landlords are pet owners too, and understand that a companion animal is an important part of the home," Crighton says.

"However the fact remains that some rental owners have had terrible experiences with pets. From noise problems, damage and smell so you need to prove that your pet does not fall into this category."

Tips for renting with a pet

  • Get searching. Call your local real estate and ask to be notified of pet-friendly rentals in your area. Get to know your estate agents, having someone on your side that works in the industry is a huge advantage.
  • Make sure your pet is trained. A well-mannered pet is vital. If negotiating to allow your pet in the home, make sure you have your puppy pre-school certificate ready.
  • Have them ready from your previous pet-friendly dwellings and people who know your pets.
  • Make a list of the homes you wish to view. If you can find one advertised as a pet-friendly home, great. If not, be prepared to negotiate. This could include offering an increase in rent, agreeing to more frequent inspections, and offering to pay to fix any damage caused by the pet.
  • Make a pet resume for your animal.
  • Keep up-to-date with your pet care routine. Think fleas, worms, grooming and training. Have evidence of this. Sell yourself as a responsible pet owner.
  • If you're renting in an apartment, get to know the body corporate rules and regulations.

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Peter Ralph
January 19, 2017 6.50am

The provisions in residential leases in Victoria so far as they relate to pets are virtually unenforceable.

There have been many instances where tenants have breached this provision of their lease and the landlord has sought to enforce his rights in VCAT. I do not know of one instance where VCAT has ruled in favor of a landlord.

The tenant gets to stay and so does Fido. Landlords are virtually without power to remove pets or evict tenants in respect of this breach.

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