Pets And Rental Properties

As a property owner considering renting your property, you will probably have to consider whether or not you would allow pets into your property, and if so what type of pets?


Australia has a high level of pet ownership, and as more people find themselves living alone, the appeal of companion animals can be strong.

Renters may wonder what they need to do to secure a rental and keep their pet with them.  How can a mutually beneficial situation be reached?

Firstly, the law in NSW makes a distinction between an assistance animal, such as a guide dog, and all other pets. Assistance animals are protected by law and cannot be barred so any strata rules need to acknowledge that fact. The REINSW offers some thoughts for any body corporates considering rules on pets.

Secondly, many standard rental agreements include a “no pets” clause by default, but that can be removed by the agreement of both the landlord and the tenant. So the onus is on the tenant usually to reassure the landlord that their pet will be a good tenant too.  That means no loud noise, particularly at night, no threatening behaviour to other residents, and no mess.

The tenant will need to reassure potential landlords that their pet will not be an issue. Tenants might consider these suggestions to improve their chances and avoid future trouble:

  • Review the rules for the building your are considering to check for any affecting pets
  • Keep your pet in good condition and clean so that when they meet potential landlords they can make a good impression
  • Consider providing pet references to potential landlords from prior landlords
  • Consider negotiating with their landlord to allow their pet in return for some additional rent
  • Landlords cannot increase the bond to cover possible damage by pets, the maximum bond allowed is the equivalent of four weeks rent.
  • Tenant also should understand that if their pet upsets their neighbours (e.g. barking at night), then that can mean the landlord is approached to correct the situation or pay any fines by the Body Corporate, ouch!
  • Read further information from the RSPCA for some excellent ideas.

Landlords might also like to consider the rental opportunities they may be missing by excluding all pets, and not having a discussion about them with potential tenants.  As more Australian move into strata/unit living, so will their pets. 

Further Reading

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales >> Assistance Animals in Strata

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales >> Problems with the New Strata Laws

REALESTATE.COM >> Renting with pets?

RSPCA >> Pets and Rental Properties

Department of Fair Trading >> Starting a Tenancy, Information for Landlords

Real Estate View >> How to Secure a Rental With a Pet – 6 Tips to Get You In!