A tenants guide
In Australia, more than two thirds of households own pets. We actually have the highest incidence of pet ownership per household of any country in the world.
But finding pet friendly rental accommodation – be it a house, unit or apartment – is not always easy.
Across the country, residential tenancy agreements either do not mention keeping pets or state that written consent is required from the landlord before pets are allowed in rental properties. The information and suggestions provided are to help you obtain that written permission, so you can enjoy the companionship of your pet in rental accommodation. Simply, when looking for a place that will accept tenants with pets, it is essential to remember the following points:
Responsible pet owners make responsible tenants
Be prepared to put in some time and effort
Find out what makes landlords say yes to pets and be a great representative for all pet-owning tenants
HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE SEARCH
In the process of searching for pet friendly rental accommodation the following hints will be useful.
1)Raise the subject of pets in person with the owner/ manager if possible. Presenting information about yourself and your pet in a face-to-face meeting will have a better impact than if it is raised over the telephone.
2)Prepare and have handy a complete resume on your pet which includes all medical records, obedience school certificates and written references from past landlords, neighbours, obedience schools and veterinarians.
3)Offer to sign a pet agreement to clearly define behaviour appropriate to the rental premises.
Pets are not permitted to be kept in many Strata Title properties because of specific Body Corporate Bylaws. Check the By-laws of the Body Corporate in your Strata Title development to identify any special conditions for pets.
4)Encourage the owner/manager to meet your well groomed, well-behaved pet to demonstrate it is responsibly cared for and obedient.
DEMONSRATING YOU ARE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER
Your Pet’s Details
Create a resume for you and your pet(s) which includes documents as proof of spay/neuter surgery, current medical records including vaccinations and proof of regular veterinary visits and any obedience school documents.
Include in the resume written references from previous landlords, neighbours, obedience class instructors and veterinarians.
Victoria does not permit the payment of pet specific deposits or bonds.
Offer to jointly develop and sign a pet agreement with your landlord which covers all likely situations which may arise and actions to be taken in the event that problems or issues arise with your pet.
Offer to bring your pet to meet the property owner/manager to demonstrate it is well behaved and cared-for. Further demonstrate you are a responsible pet owner by explaining that:
1) You provide appropriate levels of exercise and attention to your pet at all times
2) You do not let your pet roam the streets
3) You make suitable arrangements to care for your pet if you are away on business or holidays
4) You always keep control of your dog in public places
5) You hygienically clean up after your pet at all times
PET RESUME GUIDE
A resume on your pet will not only provide the owner manager with all relevant information about your dog will also clearly demonstrate you are a responsible owner. Information you include should cover:
a physical description of your pet – name, age and physical appearance – you might want to include a photo
details of any training your pet has received
a description of your exercise regime with your application) covering the number of times YOU exercise your pet, the usual location and the usual duration of each outing; and details on the health and grooming of your pet, covering issues such as neutering, vaccination record and how frequently you groom it.
In addition, mention anything about your pet’s age, activity level or traits which help reinforce that it is a good tenant.
When the above information is provided with references attached, you will be ensuring the owner/ manager makes their decision with the benefit of a full description of your pet and its habits, and in the knowledge that you are a responsible pet owner.
Below is a Landlords Guide to renting their property to pet owners.