Pet friendly rental reform legislation passes Queensland Parliament
Companion Animal Network Australia welcomes legislation which passed Queensland’s Parliament in October making renting fairer for pet owners but raises concerns over animal welfare implications.
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the new laws would end ‘without grounds’ evictions and make it easier for Queensland renters to keep a pet.
The new laws will also ensure all Queensland rental properties meet minimum quality standards and extend protections for renters who have experienced domestic and family violence.
“Queenslanders rely on safe, secure and affordable housing and we’re delivering on our election commitments to modernise Queensland’s rental laws and improve confidence in the rental market,” Ms Enoch said.
“About 34 per cent of Queensland households rent and these new laws provide a strong, balanced approach that protects the rights of renters and rental property owners, while improving stability in the rental market.”
What the new renting laws will do for pet owners:
- If a renter requests to keep a pet, a rental property owner must have reasonable grounds to refuse and respond in writing to this request within 14 days.
- Reasonable grounds include if the property is unsuitable, and if keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws.
- Rental property owners can also place reasonable conditions on pet ownership, including that the pet is to be kept outside or that carpets are cleaned, and the property is fumigated at the end of a lease.
- Rent increase is not a reasonable condition. The laws also clarify that fair wear and tear does not include pet damage.
CANA response to new QLD rental laws
Companion Animal Network CEO Trish Ennis has welcomed Queensland's new legislation making renting fairer for pet owners, however raised concerns about conditions placed on the lease for pet owners, such as pets needing to be kept outdoors.
“I worry that people that are making the laws have never rented,” she said. “We believe in the human-animal bond. It is unreasonable to add these requirements to the law. People should be able to keep a dog and cat inside provided they do so responsibly to prevent damage.”
For instance, cats should be kept inside for many reasons - especially in curfew areas – to prevent injuries and catching diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and protecting wildlife.
“Also, instead of allowing landlords to have a condition of fumigation at end of tenancy if the pet is capable of carrying parasites (i.e. that means all cats and dogs), it would be fairer to allow the condition that if there was flea infestation at the end of the tenancy, fumigation could be required, as many tenants will use effective flea protection or may have 100% indoor cats,” said Ms Ennis.
“Queensland’s new law should reflect those set in Victoria, ACT and NT. In Victoria for example, the landlord has the right to submit their objections to VCAT should they wish to reject an application including pets.”
For more information on the rental reform process, visit https://www.chde.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/rental-law-reform
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