Renting with Pets

  • Lessors can only refuse a pet request from a Tenant on prescribed reasonable grounds.
  • The Lessor must respond to a pet request within 14 days; failure to respond will automatically approve the request.
  • Advertising of ‘no pets allowed’ should not be done as of 01/10/2022 as a best practice rule

Implementation Date: 01/10/2022

The amendments will require that a lessor can only refuse a pet request from a tenant on prescribed reasonable grounds that cannot be rectified by reasonable conditions.

The lessor must respond to a request to keep a pet within 14 days and if they do not respond within the specified time, the request will be deemed to be approved.

New Standard Terms (clauses) relating to pets in the Form 18a – General Tenancy Agreement is currently being updated by the RTA and will be in effect as of 01/10/2022.

The prescribed reasonable grounds are outlined as:

184E Grounds for refusing pets being kept at premises

(1) The following are the only grounds for a lessor to refuse a tenant’s request for approval to keep a stated pet at the premises—

(a) keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of animals being kept at the premises;

(b) the premises are unsuitable for keeping the pet because of a lack of appropriate fencing, open space or another thing necessary to humanely accommodate the pet;

(c) keeping the pet is likely to cause damage to the premises or inclusions that could not practicably be repaired for a cost that is less than the amount of the rental bond for the premises;

(d) keeping the pet would pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of a person, including, for example, because the pet is venomous;

(e) keeping the pet would contravene a law;

(f) keeping the pet would contravene a body corporate by-law or park rule applying to the premises;

(g) the tenant has not agreed to the reasonable conditions proposed by the lessor for approval to keep the pet;

(h) the animal stated in the request is not a pet;

(i) if the premises is a moveable dwelling premises—keeping the pet would contravene a condition of a licence applying to the premises;

(j) another ground prescribed by regulation.

(2) Subsection (1)(g) applies only to conditions to which an approval may be subject under section 184F.

Additional Legislation:

184A Definitions for part

In this part—

pet

(a) means—

(i) a domesticated animal; or

(ii) an animal that is dependent on a person for the provision of food or shelter; but

(b)does not include—

(i) a working dog; or

(ii) an animal prescribed by regulation not to be a pet.

working dog means—

(a) an assistance dog, guide dog or hearing dog under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009, schedule 4; or

(b) a corrective services dog under the Corrective Services Act 2006, schedule 4; or

(c) a police dog under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, schedule 6.

184B Keeping pets and other animals at premises

(1) The tenant may keep a pet or other animal at the premises only with the approval of the lessor.

(2) However, the tenant may keep a working dog at the premises without the lessor’s approval.

(3) An authorisation to keep a pet, working dog or other animal at premises is subject to a body corporate by-law, park rule or other law relating to keeping animals at the premises.

Examples—

1 The premises may be subject to a local law that limits the number or types of animals that may be kept at the premises.

2 The premises may be subject to a body corporate by-law that requires the tenant to obtain approval from the body corporate before keeping a pet at the premises.

184C Tenant responsible for pets and other animals

(1) The tenant is responsible for all nuisance caused by a pet or other animal kept at the premises, including, for example, noise caused by the pet or other animal.

(2) The tenant is responsible for repairing any damage to the premises or inclusions caused by the pet or other animal.

(3) Damage to the premises or inclusions caused by the pet or other animal is not fair wear and tear for the purpose of section 188(4).

 

184D Request for approval to keep pet at premises

(1) The tenant may request, in the approved form, the lessor’s approval for the tenant to keep a stated pet at the premises.

(2) The lessor must respond to the tenant’s request within 14 days after receiving the request.

(3) The lessor’s response must be in writing and state—

(a) whether the lessor approves or refuses the tenant’s request; and

(b) if the lessor approves the tenant’s request subject to conditions—the conditions of the approval; and

(c) if the lessor refuses the tenant’s request—

(i) the grounds for the refusal; and

(ii) the reasons the lessor believes the grounds for the refusal apply to the request.

Note—

See section 184E for the permitted grounds for refusal.

(4) The lessor is taken to approve the keeping of the pet at the premises if

(a) the lessor does not comply with subsection (2); or

(b) the lessor’s response does not comply with subsection (3).

(5) To remove any doubt, it is declared that a lessor’s refusal of a tenant’s request on the grounds that ‘no pets are allowed’ is not enough to comply with subsection (3)(c).

 

184F Conditions for approval to keep pet at premises

(1) The lessor’s approval for the tenant to keep a pet at the premises may be subject to conditions if the conditions—

(a) relate only to keeping the pet at the premises; and

(b) are reasonable having regard to the type of pet and the nature of the premises; and

(c) are stated in the written approval given to the tenant under section 184D(2).

(2) Without limiting subsection (1)(b), the following conditions of the lessor’s approval are taken to be reasonable—

(a) if the pet is not a type of pet ordinarily kept inside—a condition requiring the pet to be kept outside at the premises;

(b) if the pet is capable of carrying parasites that could infest the premises—a condition requiring the premises to be professionally fumigated at the end of the tenancy;

(c) if the pet is allowed inside the premises—a condition requiring carpets in the premises to be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.

(3) A condition of the lessor’s approval for the tenant to keep a pet at the premises is void if the condition—

(a) would have the effect of the lessor contravening section 171 or 172; or

(b) would, as a term of a residential tenancy agreement, be void under section 173; or

(c) would increase the rent or rental bond payable by the tenant; or

(d) would require any form of security from the tenant.

(4) For subsection (2), the premises are professionally fumigated, and carpets are professionally cleaned, if the fumigation and cleaning are done to a standard ordinarily achieved by businesses selling those services.

Information

On 18 June 2021, the Queensland Government introduced the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 to the Queensland Parliament.

The Bill was passed by Queensland Parliament on 14 October 2021.

Queensland’s new legislation, which is administered by the RTA, amends the existing legislation:

  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009
  • Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

Links

Key information provided in this blog post has been extracted from the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021, the Explanatory Notes and the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website, and is provided as an educational resource only.

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