According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.16 million renting families are pet owners. Despite these high numbers, landlords are reluctant to advertise their properties as allowing pets and many people assume they won’t be allowed to bring their pets with them.
The annual PETstock Pet Parent Survey, which interviewed more than 905 pet owners across the country, found that approximately 54% of pet owners thought landlords and property managers should be compelled to allow pets on the rental premises.
While a handful of owners (8%) admitted that their pets had damaged a rental home, 30% strongly agreed that landlords should be compelled to accept pets. Only 1.5% strongly disagreed with the need to change the law.
“In Victoria, there are no laws that directly cover pets in tenancies or residencies, but landlords often include a clause in the lease banning them,” said Shane Young, chief executive officer of PETstock. However, this may soon change as the Victorian Government is currently reviewing tenancy laws, including the law around pets.
RSPCA Victoria says it’s time to correct the perception that all pets damage rental properties. The organisation also wants the landlord ban on pet owners to be overturned, believing that the restriction unfairly hurts both pet owners and their pets. More than 700 animals were surrendered to RSPCA Victoria animal care centres in the last financial year because their owners couldn’t take them to their new homes.
“Given that an incredible 83 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they treated their pets as their children, these figures are not surprising,” Young said. “When they are looking for a place to live, it can be really hard for pet parents to find a place where the owners will allow them to keep their pet.”