The laws behind renting in Melbourne has long been said to be biased towards the landlord more than the tenants. Tenants who rent properties in Melbourne complain that their rights are limited and the Victorian state laws are always in favour of the investor leasing their homes out. The Victorian government indicated recently that it has put forward some changes to the tenancy laws to give more rights to the tenants and one of them being: discrimination against people applying with pets.

Suitable Property for Pet’s Well-Being

People who are searching for Melbourne rental properties have felt they are being discriminated upon when agents and landlords will immediately put their application aside when a pet is mentioned. Though this is a welcome change, I still think medium and large dogs should not be allowed in cramped apartments. Dogs need a space to run around.

Sneaking in a Pet in a Melbourne Rental

I once received a phone call from a person (the tenant) through a friend who snuck in one of those handbag dogs into her apartment. The dog urinated and defecated all around the apartment and ruined the carpet. The agent found out during the course of the inspection because the stains on the carpet were very obvious. The tenant refused to pay to get the carpet cleaned and fumigated. The cleaner was brought in by the agent who said that the carpet is ruined and it needs to be replaced.  The tenant still refused to pay and ended up in court. I think this is why

Pet Bond as a Compromise and Be Upfront –

The important thing about allowing pets in rental properties lies in who should be responsible for the damages. This should be outlined clearly on the tenancy agreement between the landlord/agent and the tenant. I highly suggest a pet bond as well. Not only will there be a “kitty” at the end of the tenancy to deal with any issues, it will serve as a reminder for pet owners to be responsible. A third party should be used to determine if  funds from the pet bond will get deducted. There are also unscrupulous landlords who may just want to take advantage of the money by creating false pet damage.

Unable to Prove Discrimination

If a pet owner applies for a property and does not get it, and it was due to discrimination against having a pet, it will be difficult to prove. This is probably the reason why the Victorian laws on renting will state that applicants for properties cannot be discriminated upon. But how will this be proven?

Have Not Experience Pet Discrimination

Personally, in last 4 years I have been helping people relocate with their furry pets to Melbourne and finding them their Melbourne rental home, I’ve never experienced any discrimination on our applications. I hope I am not jinxing myself by stating this but being upfront with the agents that my clients either have dogs or cats or both allows the agent to check with the landlord if the latter is open to having pets on their properties. There are some properties that specifically state that no pets are allowed. But in most cases, the agents and landlords are willing to consider an application that includes a pet.