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It is always important as a renter to ensure that you have asked permission to keep pets in your property. In Victoria, there are new regulations regarding the keeping of pets in rental properties which are now in place.
The new pet laws don’t apply to pets that have already been accepted and present in the rental property before the new laws commenced.
A rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse consent to a renter keeping a pet. If a rental provider wants to refuse, they have 14 days to apply for a VCAT order. VCAT may order that, either:
"Before seeking consent, renters should check that the pet they intend to keep complies with council laws and other laws about pet ownership. These laws apply regardless of whether the rental provider has given consent for a pet. For more information, visit the Pets section – Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions website.”
Before arriving at a decision, VCAT may consider at least the following factors:
If the rental provider believes that the renter is keeping a pet without their consent, they may apply to VCAT for an order to exclude the pet from the property. This only applies if the pet was brought into the property after the new laws commenced.
The renter must repair any pet-related damage to the property that goes beyond ‘fair wear and tear’. VCAT can adjudicate disputes about repairs.
It is always important to keep your property manager and landlord informed of any big decisions regarding your property. To ensure there are no issues, stay informed of your rights regarding pets, and fill out the pet request form.
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