How the new tenancy laws affect pets in rentals
The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (the RTRA Act) which governs residential tenancies in Queensland has been amended by the Queensland Government.
Although some of the changes came into effect on assent on 20 October 2021, there are significant changes coming into effect on 1 October 2022.
One of the major changes property agents need to understand is the updated requirements for pet requests and approvals. Simply saying, "no pets allowed" is no longer permissible.
Want to know more about the upcoming changes? Download REIQ's New Tenancy Laws Toolkit.
ChangesBelow are key changes that will apply from 1 October 2022:
- Lessors must have a specific reason under prescribed grounds to refuse a tenant's request to keep a pet - they can no longer say "no pets allowed" or apply a blanket pet prohibition
- conditions for keeping a pet at a property must comply with prescribed requirements
- a new definition for pets has been introduced with a clarification about working dogs
Contractual ObligationsAside from needing written consent stating whether the request has been approved or denied, the reasoning behind the decision needs to be stated using the grounds or conditions permitted under the RTRA Act.
Grounds for RefusalUnder the new provisions of the RTRA Act, the permitted grounds to refuse a pet request are limited to the following:
- keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of animals being kept at the property;
- the property is unsuitable for keeping the pet because of a lack of appropriate fencing, open space or another thing necessary to humanely accommodate the pet;
- keeping the pet is likely to cause damage to the property or inclusions that could not practicably be repaired for a cost that is less than the amount of the rental bond for the property;
- keeping the pet would pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of a person, including, for example, because the pet is venomous;
- keeping the pet would contravene a law;
- keeping the pet would contravene a body corporate by-law or park rule applying to the property;
- the tenant has not agreed to the reasonable conditions proposed by you for approval to keep the pet;
- the animal stated in the request is not a pet; or
- if the property is a moveable dwelling property-that keeping the pet would contravene a condition of a licence applying to the property.
Tenant DisagreementIf a tenant does not agree with the grounds of refusal or conditions of approval you've provided, you should ask them for their reasoning and consider if their argument has merit based on the RTRA Act or some other law.
If a tenant does not agree to the conditions (assuming all conditions are compliant with the legislative requirements) a proposal for the pet request can be refused under the grounds that the tenant has not agreed to the conditions of approval.
If you are unsure of whether there is a valid dispute, REIQ members can always contact the REIQ Property Management Support Service on 1300 697 347.
For a comprehensive understanding of the new tenancy law changes happening in Queensland alongside REIQ's best practice tips and guidelines, please click here.
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