Owning a rental property is a big investment, and it can be difficult to stay on top of all the paperwork, legislation, and information.
There are legitimate questions to ask when a tenant has a pet. Questions like;
- Is the pet clean?
- Will it bark, or be loud?
- Will it damage my property?
- What are my rights as a landlord?
These questions are more relevant than ever now that there are new pet rental laws in Victoria. Our team at TTS Real Estate can help you exercise your rights as a tenant or landlord.
With decades of experience in property management, TTS Real Estate knows how to find the right the right tenant for your property.
What do the new laws say?
The property managers at TTS Real Estate are experts at navigating the delicate field of pets in rental properties. A frequently asked question is “Can my tenant have a pet?”.
Recently the Victorian Government reviewed the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. In effect as of 2 March 2020, the tenant will have to request the landlord’s consent to bring a new pet onto the property.
The tenant will need to fill out an application form for a pet, the landlord then has 14 days to make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to refuse the pet. Both sides will then present their case at VCAT, and the VCAT member will decide whether the property is suitable for a pet.
With Victoria’s rental laws pets already belonging to existing tenants will not need the landlord’s consent to remain. However, existing tenants will need to get consent for any new pets, even if they already have other pets.
Can landlords refuse pets in Victoria?
Landlords in Victoria cannot refuse pets outright. If you don’t want a pet living on your property, you only have 14 days from the time the tenant informs you to submit a request to refuse with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). If VCAT does not find your grounds for refusing sufficient, then your tenant will be allowed to have their pet.
What are the landlords’ options?
It may be that you are fine with allowing certain pets and not others, or that you would prefer no pets at all. If your rental properties are specialist disability accommodation (SDA) you may be happy to have seeing eye dogs in rented houses or units. Or perhaps your request to refuse has been denied by VCAT. Either way, you still have rights as a landlord.
You can still seek conditions for a pet being on your property. You may, for example, only want a dog to live outside. Given the type of dog and your property, this might be an entirely reasonable request.
Under the new legislation there are avenues of recourse for a landlord. Any property will go through its fair amount of wear and tear, but serious damage or uncleanliness is unacceptable. If the tenant doesn’t rectify the problem after a breach of duty notice, you can submit to VCAT to seek compensation or a compliance order.
VCAT will ultimately make the decision. The case that your agent puts forward can have a major impact on the decision.
Consider a property manager
Dealing with your tenants’ pets can be a real headache. However, a dedicated property manager will be able to resolve your issues.
TTS Real Estate is committed to professionally and thoroughly vetting tenants to make sure they are reliable and respectful. We also:
- Offer routine inspections throughout the lease
- Guarantee quality photography and marketing to minimise periods of vacancy
- Will maximise the value of your investment
A good property manager will prove that they are as good an investment as the property itself.
Benefits of a property manager
Engaging the services of a property manager can help if you’re concerned about having pets on your property. TTS Real Estate gets to know prospective tenants and everything you need to know about their pets by:
- a 30-minute inspection
- A long experience at vetting tenants
- Expertise at matching the right tenant to the right property
- Manage pet requests submissions and help you get the best outcome for your property
We have the skills and experience to find a tenant who will not endanger your investment.
What TTS Real Estate can do
If the worst does happen, and a pet damages your property, TTS Real Estate will always seek the best possible outcome.
Our team will perform regular and thorough inspections, and identify any, and all new damage to the property. Similarly, they will be well-positioned to professionally and efficiently seek appropriate compensation either through the tenant or through VCAT.