17 Jun Finding a Rental with Pets
Finding rental places with pets can be a real challenge. Owning property in Sydney is an impossible dream for many people, forcing them (and their furry friends!) to search for rental options. Unfortunately, the struggle to find pet friendly housing leads to the surrender and abandonment of thousands of animals each year. Luckily there are ways to improve your chances of landing a pet friendly property.
Places to look
You can search for pet friendly rentals on sites such as Domain, Realestate.com.au, Flatmates.com.au, or even Gumtree. Many places will not explicitly stipulate whether or not pets are allowed. Contact agents and landlords of properties with information about your pet to ask whether pets will be considered.
Make a pet resume
Pet resumes are a great way to advertise your pet to potential landlords. Include:
- A flattering photo of your pet
- A description of your pet including attitude, noise level, friendliness and coat shedding level
- Whether your pet will be indoors or outdoors
- A photo of the enclosure your pet will be kept in if you are keeping birds/pocket pets.
- References from previous landlords or your veterinarian supporting the application
- Number of pets and types of pets
If possible introduce your pet to your new landlord.
Know your rights and responsibilities
Read your tenancy agreement very carefully before you sign. Most agreements will have a clause included as to whether pets are allowed. If you have discussed pet ownership with your landlord, make sure any clause not allowing pets is struck out before signing. You should also be aware of any strata laws disallowing pets before signing and moving in. If there is no clause discussing whether or not pets are allowed there is no reason why you cannot acquire a pet and keep a pet on the premises.
Assistance animals cannot be refused by landlords, under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW). Pet bonds are also illegal in NSW. Your landlord cannot ask for more than the usual 4 weeks of bond just because you have a pet.
As a pet owner, you also have certain responsibilities. You will have to pay for any damage to the property your pet may cause. Some landlords may require you to pay for the cleaning of the house following your tenancy.
Secret stowaways are not the answer.
Avoid the temptation to hide pets from landlords. Most pets are difficult to hide from long periods of time, the chances are your landlord will find out. This can lead to eviction and can damage your rental record.
Renting with a pet might be tricky, but it is not impossible. You furry or feathered friend is worth the effort it takes to find the best pet friendly rentals for you both.