Is it harder to rent a property with a pet?

Yes, it can be significantly harder for those tenants with a moggy or pooch to find a rental property. However, it’s not impossible to find a pet-friendly apartment or house.

In fact, it’s worth noting that most states are reviewing the laws relating to the ownership of pets in a rental property. In Victoria, the state government, recently passed laws allowing tenants to have pets in rental properties. In most states the pet ownership laws are still under review.

In the meantime, if there are a variety of suitable applicants to choose from, many landlords will opt for aspiring tenant without pets. This decision is often taken because there is an assumption that animals are likely to cause extra damage or wear and tear to the property.

There are however a considerable number of landlords who will consider pets depending on the breed, age, tenancy history and you guessed it, the suitability of Tabby or Rufus to live in your property. You can forget, for example, trying for a lease on a bachelor pad with a Great Dane on the leash. 

Apart from being realistic about matching your pet with a property, asking your previous property manager for a reference about your pet’s level of housetraining might help you get your name on the lease. If a reference for Waldo isn’t possible, be sure to include details of your pet in the lease application. This information should consist of the animal’s breed, age, registration, and whether they’ve been microchipped, vaccinated and so on. A photo of Benji or Felix is advisable as part of your application. It also might help if you have some evidence from a vet that your pet receives regular checkups.

If you decide you want to bring home a pet midway through the tenancy agreement period, you’ll need to ask permission. Whether you can live with a pet in a rental property is entirely up to the landlord. It’s also worth noting that a landlord can't ask you for more rent to cover for possible pet-related wear and tear unless this is stated in the lease agreement.