New Pet Laws in Victoria

There is a new process that came into effect in March 2020 that changes the Landlords approach to new and existing renters who have pets. Tenants now have the right to keep pets, provided they obtain the landlord’s written consent first, which can either be accepted with no issues or sought to be refused. If a refusal is deemed to be warranted then it can only be executed via an order through VCAT. There is a time limit to the submission of within 14 days starting the day after you receive the tenants pet application form. If the 14 days has elapsed, then you by default have provided consent.

As indicated above the responsibility resides with the landlord to get approval from VCAT to refuse consent to a tenants pet request. There will need to be valid justification provided for why a pet should not be allowed. Note: This excludes tenants that have been assigned, registered assistance dogs. In this scenario the landlord is not in a position to refuse or challenge the consent.

VCAT will take into consideration:
 
  • the type of pet the tenant wants to keep
  • the type of property the tenant is renting
  • appliances, fixtures and fittings in the property
  • other relevant laws (for example, if the pet is prohibited by a local council law)
  • anything else VCAT considers relevant.

 

In the instance that VCAT makes an order to allow the exclusion of pet(s) from the premises, the tenant will have 14 days to comply with the order after it takes effect. Should the tenant chose not to comply with the VCAT order, the landlord can serve them with a notice to vacate. Note: This can only be executed post the expiry of the 14 day VCAT order and the tenant must be provided a minimum of 28 days’ notice to vacate.

Tenants have an obligation not to damage the rental property and must leave it in a reasonably clean condition. There may be cause for the tenant to execute professional cleaning and fumigation if there is pet-related damage to the property that is not considered fair wear and tear. 

This information was sourced from: Consumer Affairs Victoria and was current at the time of publishing. Always refer to the Consumer Affairs site for current guidelines or speak with your appointed Real Estate Property Manager for more details.

Author: Sherrie Lee 

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