The pet bond: How it works across Australia
Do you know the rules in different states?
Landlords in most Australian states (with the exception of Western Australia) are not permitted to charge a pet bond. This payment covers the higher costs associated with accepting a pet into a rental property.
In WA, the bond is restricted to a one-off payment of $260, which means pet-loving landlords are left with a few options: Refusing pets, charging a higher rent, or losing money through damage repairs. The only time the pet bond can be higher is if the weekly rent is more than an amount set by regulation ($1,200 per week as at 1 June 2011), but tenants must not be charged a pet bond for an assistance dog (e.g. a guide dog).
According to the WA Department of Commerce, a pet bond may be charged if a tenant is permitted to keep pets capable of carrying parasites which can affect humans.
A lessor / agent must lodge the security bond and the pet bond together as a single amount. They also have to specify the amount taken as pet bond.
ALL OTHER AUSTRALIAN STATES
The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 makes no mention of pets. However, it could be possible to have a clause within a lease that bans pets which could harm the property, be a nuisance to neighbours, or break local government laws.
In some strata schemes, some by-laws state that you also need to have written consent of the owners corporation.
If you have a pet, or intend to get one, you should always let your landlord know because it could affect their insurance.