New pet laws for ACT units

Pet rules have been relaxed under new laws for units in the ACT, making life easier for renters and owners.

The amended Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011, updated in November 2020 relaxes the regulations on pet ownership.

What do these amendments mean if I’m a tenant in the ACT?

If you rent or own a unit in the ACT, you may now keep an animal in your rental property, provided the animal is an assistance animal.

If your pet is not an assistance animal, you may still keep the animal, provided your owner’s corporation rules include a pet-friendly rule and that you keep your pet in accordance with that rule.

The owner’s corporation may also consent to your animal being kept with – or without – conditions.

Pets you may keep at home include amphibians, birds, fish, mammals or reptiles.

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When should I apply?

As a tenant, you can write to your lessor to ask for consent (or agreement) to keep your pet at your rental property. If they refuse to give you consent, they’ll need to apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (or ‘ACAT’) to do so.

That said, there may be conditions on consent, and your lessor can apply to ACAT for prior approval of those conditions.

They won’t need ACAT’s approval if the condition is deemed reasonable, such as the number of animals that may be kept on the property, or the expected cleanliness or maintenance of the property.

If you disagree with their conditions, you can apply to ACAT to resolve this dispute.

Importantly, your lessor must apply within 14 days of receiving your written request to keep a pet. If they don’t make an application to ACAT within this timeframe, they’re taken to have consented to you keeping a pet.

Improve your pet’s chance of success with a Pet Resume

Pet Resume is built into Rent.com.au’s Renter Resume tool. It’s a detailed summary of your pet’s best qualities to help demonstrate responsible pet ownership when you apply for your next home.

Add a bio to tell your future landlord a little more about their personality, plus helpful information about whether they’ve been vaccinated, registered or trained. The feature is designed to help improve your chance of success on your next application.

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