In this section, you’ll find:
- Find a pet friendly rental property
- Tips to secure a rental property
- Tips to negotiate strata by-laws
- More resources
Twice as many Australians rent now as in 1981. Some 4.5 million live in private rental accommodation – about 1.8 million households, or 23.4% of households. The National Housing Suppy Council recently said that it seems certain the aggregate rate of home ownership will drop and the proportion renting will increase signficantly.
Finding suitable pet-friendly rental accommodation can be frustrating and distressing. Buyers purchasing in apartment buildings that are not ear-marked as pet-friendly are also struggling according to Susannah Anderson of Di Jones Real Estate.
According to Susannah “pet bonds” and “pet references” are becoming more common in Sydney as pet-lovers do what they can to find appropriate accommodation.
Find a pet-friendly rental property
- First National Pet Friendly Property Search
- Rent Australia – search properties using a “Pets OK” option.
- Search www.domain.com.au – Click on “Rent” top menu tab, under the search input box, there is a link saying “More criteria” – click the link. Under options there is another link “More Options with Radar >>” click this link. Scroll down on new page to menu option “What property features would you prefer?”, click on the “More features” link and a “Pets Allowed” tick box will appear for you to select.
- Pet Friendly Rentals has an on-line pet friendly search tool that supports RealEstate.com.au and Domain.com.au
Tips to secure a rental property
Market yourself as a responsible pet owner – offer to sign a pet agreement, clearly defining the behaviour and responsibilities appropriate to the rental premises, potentially meet with the owner or managing agent to enable you to introduce your pet and prove that they are responsbily cared for and obedient; and have good references.
Present your pet as well behaved – prepare a pet resume and include a de-sexing certificate, vaccination certificate, any dog training certificates. In addition, mention anything about your pet’s age, activity levels or character traits. Petsinthecity recommends to obtain a reference from a neighbour, your vet, a dog trainer or other animal professional if you haven’t previously rented with your pet. (Source: petsinthecity.net.au)
Tips to negotiate strata by-laws
In 20 years, half of NSW’s population will live in apartments or townhouses. The good news is that new governement by-laws announced in November 2013 will, for the first time, allow pets by default, rather than banning them.
By-laws can be changed to be either for or against pets, so you will need to ensure your pet is well behaved. Your pet has to have a positive effect on the quality of life on the residents in the apartment building.
Before you settle on an apartment, check the by-laws which apply to the apartment building and gain approval for your pet prior to moving in. You may wish to seek advice from your solicitor.
Introduce a pet policy to address resident and management concerns. It should outline the responsiblities of the pet owner such as: limitation of the number of pets, assessment of a pet on its individual merits (not on the weight of the dog), dogs and cats must be de-sexed; and cats to be kept indoors.
You can also consider a pet committee to help ensure pet owners follow the pet policy guidelines.
- RSPCA NSW has information on pets in apartments and rental properties including tips for obtaining consent from the Owners Corporation or from a property landlord
- Tips to secure a property and a pet resume system from Pet Friendly Rentals
- A publication called petsinthecity has information about pet ownership including tips to help you gain approval to keep pets in rental accommodation and tips for negotiating pet friendly by-laws
- Strata Community Australia has information and advice on pets and other everyday issues
- Australian Companion Animal Council have two brochures: Renting with Pets, a guide for Tenants and Tenants with Pets, a guide for Landlords and Managing Agents