Pets Are Part of the Family

With changes to the Residential Tenancies Act due to take effect in 2020, now is the time to consider how these changes may affect you as a Landlord. The Victorian Government quotes “We reviewed the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 because renters and landlords need different laws than they did 20 years ago. This review recommended many changes, for renters and landlords. The changes will be introduced in stages, as we consult further with the community to develop the guidelines. All reforms will start by 1 July 2020.” The report goes on to state; “This initial package of reforms, announced on 8 October 2017, focuses on strengthening tenants’ rights, to provide those who rent with a sense of security and support. The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 was passed in September 2018 and included more than 130 reforms that aim to increase protections for renters, while ensuring rental housing providers can still effectively manage their properties”.

One of these changes focus on pets in rental properties and these changes involve; “Tenants will have the right to keep pets, provided they obtain the landlord’s written consent first which can only be refused by order of VCAT. The onus will be on the landlord to get approval from VCAT to refuse consent to a pet, once they have received the request from the renter. In the case of an assistance dog, consent cannot be refused at all. Guidance will be issued to help landlords and tenants understand the types of situations where it may be reasonable to refuse consent. An outgoing tenant may be required to undertake cleaning and fumigation if there is pet-related damage to the property that goes beyond fair wear and tear. This is consistent with their existing duty not to damage the property and to leave it in a reasonably clean condition.”

With these changes comes the need to assess your current Landlord Protection Insurance to ensure it does cover you for any potential damage that may occur from your tenant having pets in the property. Gartland Property suggest you check with your current Insurer to see that your policy is up to date and that you are protected. There are varying Insurers that have recently amended their policies, taking in to affect the changes to the amended Residential Tenancies Act.

It’s imperative that your Managing Agent is up to date with legislative changes. If you’d like to discuss the pending reforms, please contact Emily Reid 0411 497 783.

Quoted source: www.vic.gov.au