Renting laws are changing. This will affect pet ownership. See Changes to renting laws.
In Victoria, there are no laws that directly cover pets in rented homes. However, it is possible to include a clause that bans pets in a lease. A prospective tenant could accept, reject or negotiate such a clause.
If you have a pet or intend to get one during the tenancy, you should get permission from the landlord or owner and include the permission as a term of the lease before moving in.
If your pet causes damage or nuisance, or the property has not been kept in a reasonably clean condition because of your pet, your landlord or property manager may give you a Notice for breach of duty. This notice may require you to:
- fix the damage, or
- ensure the nuisance or poor property condition does not happen again.
If there was no agreement for a pet to be kept, this notice may also require you to remove the pet from the property.
However, a landlord or owner cannot give you a Notice for breach of duty simply for breaking a ‘no pets’ clause in a tenancy agreement if there has not been damage or nuisance.
For more information about Notices of breach of duty, view our When a tenant or landlord breaks the rules page.
Although the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 does not explicitly mention pet bonds, landlords/property managers and owners cannot ask for an additional bond as a ‘pet bond’.
Pets in rented apartments and units
If you rent an apartment or unit, there is likely to be an owners corporation that manages common areas such as gardens, driveways and foyers. An owners corporation may have its own rules about pets, which you must follow.
Landlords or owners should give you a copy of the owners corporation rules when you first move in.
For more information, view:
Assistance animals are not considered to be pets - they are highly trained disability support services that help a person with disability to safely participate in personal and public life activities.
For information about assistance animals in renting, view our Discrimination in renting page.