Open Doors to Tenants with Paws

It’s the contentious issue that’s been dogging both sides of the fence for years: renters with pets. But now, the Queensland Government is inviting feedback on a wide range of topics related to renting in Queensland as part of its Open Doors to Renting Reform forum, by the Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW) in conjunction with the Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA). It hopes to consider the suggestions and concerns from both renters and property owners alike, including the subject of renting with pets.

A spokesperson from the RTA says rental property owners, tenants and property managers are encouraged to have their say on renting in Queensland by either making a submission, completing an online survey or by visiting a community consultation event.

“Feedback received during this consultation will help inform a review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and help shape the future of renting in Queensland.”

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Knick Knack, Paddy Whack, give renters with dogs a home? (Source: http://www.animatedimages.org)

An HPW departmental spokesperson says opinion was divided in a recent online ‘pet poll’ that recently closed on October 19th, with 51% saying ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Should pets be kept in rental properties without permission?’

“There was general support that pet bonds would help tenants and property owners reach agreement on pets – 77% indicated ‘Yes’ and 23% indicated ‘No’.”

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The departmental spokesperson said that although the pet poll has closed, Queenslanders still have until 5pm AEST on Friday, November 30, 2018, to have their say.

“The Queensland Government will consider all feedback when developing any proposals to change tenancy law and departmental policies.”

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Property Manager Bindi Vanarey says the decision to allow dogs in properties should still be on the owner.

“I have worked in the Real Estate Industry for over 13 years and have seen some significant damage from pets during my time so can completely understand why some owners would choose to not allow Dogs in their properties again.”

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She says not all properties are suitable for pets and the right to say ‘no to dogs’ should never be removed without more regulations being introduced.

“I am an investor and my house is currently rented to a family who do have a dog, and in the past, I’ve rented my townhouse to tenants with cats.

“I don’t think I would ever allow a dog in my townhouse as there’s very little space for a dog to have room to move or go to the bathroom”

Roslyn Wallace, secretary of the Property Owners Association of Queensland (POAQ), agrees that allowing pets on a rental property should be strictly a matter for the owner to decide.

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“Changing tenancy laws to allow renting with pets to be more viable would pose extra burdens and costs on owners of rental properties coming so soon after changes to the smoke alarm legislation.

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(Source: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/Lcd5nkGri.htm)

“If dogs are allowed on the property, we feel that the Act should be changed to allow professional carpet cleaning, timber floors to be repolished and professional pest control at the end of the tenancy at the tenant’s cost.”

Brisbane renter Cassandra Edwards has one bird, three cats, and two dogs. She says the best advice for renters with furry family members is to be honest, and upfront when making inquiries.

“A lot of real estate listings don’t advertise whether or not a property is pet-friendly, but historically we’ve found most owners are usually open-minded to pets.

“I always include a letter in my tenancy application that talks about my pets.”

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Excerpt from Cassandra Edward’s Tenancy Application Letter. (Supplied)

For more information about Public Housing Tenants’ rights and responsibilities, go to

The Pets in Public Housing Fact Sheet.

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