Fact sheet 14: Pets

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This page is about changes to Victoria's renting laws that have not happened yet. They will be in place from July 2020.

For information on current laws, view our Renting section.

The new renting laws mean renters can keep pets at a rental property, with the written permission of the rental provider (landlord). Rental providers can only refuse permission in defined circumstances.

What is a pet?

A pet is any animal except for an assistance dog.

Does a renter need the rental provider’s permission to keep a pet?

Yes, renters must seek the rental provider’s written permission before keeping a pet at a rental property. You can do this by email if you have agreed to electronic communication with your rental provider.

If renters intend to keep a pet on the rental property, it’s best to be upfront with rental providers as early as possible.

What can a rental provider do if they are concerned about a pet being kept on their rental property?

Rental providers can conduct regular property inspections to put their minds at ease.

Can a rental provider refuse to give permission?

A rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse permission to a renter keeping a pet. If a rental provider wants to refuse permission, they have 14 days to apply for a Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) order. VCAT will order that, either:

  • the rental provider’s refusal is reasonable and the pet is excluded from the property, or
  • the renter can keep the pet on the rental property.

If the rental provider does not apply to VCAT within 14 days, permission is taken to have been granted for the renter to keep a pet on the property.

What are reasonable grounds for a rental provider to refuse permission?

Before arriving at a decision, VCAT may consider, at least, the following factors:

  • the type of pet the renter wants to keep, or is keeping, on the property
  • the character and nature of the property itself, including appliances, fixtures and fittings on the property
  • whether refusing permission to keep the pet on the property is allowed under any Act.

What if a pet is already being kept without the rental provider’s consent?

If the rental provider believes that the renter is keeping a pet they may apply to VCAT for an order to exclude the pet from the property.

What happens if the renter’s pet damages the rental property?

The renter must repair any pet-related damage to the property that goes beyond ‘fair wear and tear’.

The Victorian Government will provide guidelines on fair wear and tear by April 2020 following public consultation in October and November 2019 through Engage Victoria.

Rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks

These requirements do not apply to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks.

Can the renter be asked to pay a pet bond?