7: Exploring Pet Policies in Rental Properties: What Landlords and Tenants Need to Know

Welcome back to another episode of the Property Investors Handbook podcast series. In this episode, your host Adam Bell is joined once again by Colleen Sutherland, the expert behind Sutherland’s Property Management Group. This time, they dive deep into the intricate world of renting with pets – a topic that’s bound to interest both landlords and tenants. 

Pets in Rental Properties – The Basics: 

Colleen explains that while landlords can’t flat-out deny pets, they can refuse on reasonable grounds. She stresses that refusal must be provided in writing within 14 days, and if the landlord doesn’t respond, it’s assumed the tenant can keep the pet. 

Reasonable Grounds for Refusal: 

Colleen discusses various grounds for refusing pets, such as property suitability, potential damage, excessive number of animals, and even potential risk to health and safety. She points out that pets causing aggressive behaviors might be a valid reason for refusal. 

Tenant Responsibilities and Agreement: 

Pets require care, and that includes tenant responsibility. Colleen outlines that tenants must seek permission before bringing in a pet, providing necessary references and information. Upon approval, tenants sign agreements outlining their responsibilities, including pet damage repairs and professional cleaning. 

Size, Type, and Breed Restrictions: 

Colleen clarifies that landlords can’t restrict pet breeds or types, but reasonable grounds for refusal might apply to certain animals. She mentions that working animals are generally accepted unless the property isn’t suitable. 

Dealing with Pet Damage: 

Pet damage isn’t considered normal wear and tear, Colleen notes. Tenants are liable for repairs, and landlords can claim from the bond if necessary. She advises tenants to consider renter’s insurance covering pet-related damages. 

Facing Challenges – Unexpected Pets and Damage: 

Colleen recalls instances where tenants introduced unauthorised pets, emphasising that honesty is key. She also shares stories of severe pet damage, including chewed architraves and ruined yards. 

Education and Resources: 

Colleen emphasises the importance of education in mitigating risks and recommends sharing her detailed presentation on renting with pets available on her website, SPMG.com.au. She’s passionate about helping both tenants and landlords navigate this aspect of property management. 

As the episode wraps up, Adam underscores the vital role that property managers play in guiding both parties through the complexities of renting with pets. He invites listeners to tune in next week for an exploration of fixed-term and periodic tenancies, another enlightening topic. 

Stay tuned for the next episode and remember, when it comes to navigating the world of property investment, education is your best ally.


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