Keep Pets with their Families
Animal Welfare League Queensland has joined the Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance to urge the community to encourage a change in legislation that will make it easier for renters to keep their pets.
A quarter of animals surrendered to Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) each year are due to accommodation issues including people not being able to find pet-friendly accommodation due to body corporate or landlords not allowing pets, moving and homelessness.
AWLQ shares the heartbreak and devastation when people surrender much loved dogs or cats because they cannot keep their pets.
- 84% of families either have, or would like to have, a pet.
- Only 10% of Queensland’s rental properties allow pets.
- Currently, owners can refuse to allow pets in their rental properties without providing any reasons.
The Queensland Government is currently drafting a Bill to take to Parliament to change legislation regarding renting with pets to make it fairer. However, in their latest consultation in December 2019, the government has proposed that the tenant request the reason if the landlord refuses to allow them to keep their pet, decide if the landlord is being unreasonable, and if so, lodge a dispute with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). This is similar to the current Body Corporate situation.
AWLQ believes many tenants will not know what to do or feel powerless in this situation. If they question the landlord, they may lose their accommodation. They may not have the time to lodge a dispute. If they have to move, it can be extremely difficult to find another place to live with their beloved pet.
It is therefore urgent that you let your Member of Queensland Parliament know that tenants should be able to keep pets provided they do so responsibly, and landlords should have to provide reasonable grounds to the QCAT to justify refusing pets.
Similar legislation has already been introduced in Victoria, ACT and the NT.
To alleviate landlord concerns, landlords can seek information about pets from their owners to determine if the owners are responsible, and owners can provide pet resumes and introduce their pet to the property owners. If not satisfied, landlords can then seek permission to refuse a pet on reasonable grounds. Rental bonds already exist to cover cost of any damage, and insurance cover for pets is also available to landlords.
To enable tenants to keep their pets, please send the following letter to your local Member of Parliament as soon as possible. If you have time, you can amend and personalise the letter.