When changes to the tenancy laws in Queensland came into effect in October 2022, one change that had a major impact was the update to pet approvals and refusals.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has provided a guide for Landlords and Property Managers regarding pet approval.
Here are key changes that commenced from 1 October 2022:
- Landlords/Property Managers must provide a response to a tenant’s request to keep a pet within 14 days; otherwise, the request is “deemed approved”
- Landlords/Property Managers must have a specific reason under prescribed grounds to refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet – they can no longer say “no pets allowed” or apply a blanket pet prohibition;
- conditions for keeping a pet at a property must comply with prescribed requirements; and
- a new definition for pets has been introduced with a clarification about working dogs.
Landlords/Property Managers must include if the request is approved or refused and if approved, the conditions of approval or if refused, the reasons for refusal. Conditions and reasons need to align with requirements under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (RTRA) 2008 Act.
The permitted grounds to refuse a pet request are limited to the following:
- keeping the pet would exceed a reasonable number of animals being kept at the property;
- the property is unsuitable for keeping the pet because of a lack of appropriate fencing, open space or another thing necessary to humanely accommodate the pet;
- keeping the pet is likely to cause damage to the property or inclusions that could not practicably be repaired for a cost that is less than the amount of the rental bond for the property;
- keeping the pet would pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of a person, including, for example, because the pet is venomous;
- keeping the pet would contravene a law;
- keeping the pet would contravene a body corporate by-law or park rule applying to the property;
- the tenant has not agreed to the reasonable conditions proposed by you for approval to keep the pet;
- the animal stated in the request is not a pet; or
- if the property is a moveable dwelling property— that keeping the pet would contravene a condition of a licence applying to the property.
If a tenant does not agree with the grounds of refusal or conditions of approval you’ve provided, you should ask them for their reasoning and consider if their argument has merit based on the RTRA Act or some other law.
If a tenant does not agree to the conditions (assuming all conditions are compliant with the legislative requirements) a proposal for the pet request can be refused under the grounds that the tenant has not agreed to the conditions of approval.
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