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Landlords bracing for influx of tenant pet requests under new laws

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Landlords are bracing themselves for an influx of tenants seeking approval for pets.

From October 1, new rental laws around pets and terminating tenancies will come into effect making it more difficult for property managers to simply say no to pets.

Renters must still seek the property owner’s permission to keep a pet.

But property owners will only be able to refuse a request on identified reasonable grounds, such as –

 - the rental property is unsuitable for the proposed pet

- the pet poses an unacceptable risk to health and safety

- keeping the pet would breach laws, body corporate by-laws or park rules

The property owner must also respond to a request for a pet in writing within 14 days, or consent is implied.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella says property owners will not simply be able to prohibit pets and only be able to decline if they can establish prescribed grounds.

“We recognise that pets are often a beloved family member, but equally appreciate that not all property owners feel comfortable with the potential risk of pet damage to their property and its value,” she says.

“Previously property owners could choose to simply say “no” to pets in their property, but with these new laws, property owners will have limited grounds to refuse a pet request.

“While it’s a silver lining that property owners will gain the ability to impose certain conditions in relation to the approval of a pet in their property, and be able to seek compensation for damage caused by pets, only time will tell if this change will shrink the rental pool if investors tap out.”

Also coming into effect from October 1 are the new reasons either tenant or landlord can end a tenancy agreement.

For renters to end agreements, they may suggest the rental property is not in good repair; the home does not meet Minimum Housing Standards.

For owners, they can end the agreement if significant repair or renovation needs to be completed; preparing for sale of the rental property requires vacant possession.