If you’re renting with pets, you may be asked to pay a pet bond when you sign your lease. However, the rules around pet bonds are different across Australia.
What is a pet bond?
A pet bond is an amount you pay above your normal rent bond to keep a pet in your rental property. This payment covers the higher costs associated with accepting a pet.
Western Australia is currently the only state where a landlord can legally ask for a pet bond.
How much should a pet bond be?
In Western Australia, the pet bond is restricted to a one-off payment of $260, unless the weekly rent is more than $1,200/week.
This cost comes in addition to the upfront cost of renting a property, which is usually six weeks’ rent. This includes the rental bond and two weeks’ rent in advance.
WA’s Department of Commerce says a pet bond can be charged if the tenant is permitted to keep pets capable of carrying parasites which can affect humans.
Lessors/agents must lodge the security bond as a single amount and specify the amount taken as a pet bond.
In WA, the tenant cannot be charged a pet bond for an assistance dog.
How does this work in other states?
As mentioned, WA is the only state where pet bonds are required.
Living with an animal in your rental property is generally at the landlord’s discretion in Australia. Victoria became the first jurisdiction to overhaul rental legislation completely, which made it easier for tenants to have pets.
New laws on pets and renting came into effect on 2 March 2020. Tenants must now request their landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into the property. Landlords must not unreasonably refuse. It does not matter when their lease started.
These laws do not apply to pets already present before 2 March 2020. Before this date, there were no laws directly covering pets in rented homes.
In New South Wales, pets are allowed, but you must have the landlord’s consent. As a tenant, it’s your responsibility to ensure the property is suitable for your pet, and you remain liable for any damage caused. If you have a pet that’s excessively loud or a nuisance which interferes with the peace of your neighbours, it can be deemed a breach of your lease.
If a landlord carries out a rental inspection in NSW, they must take care if an animal is listed on the lease. If they fail to do so and leave the gate open, letting your pet escape, they can be held liable.
No pet bonds in Queensland either, but a tenant must have permission in writing to have their furry friend in the rental. Rental laws are also currently under review.
Keeping pets in South Australia is up to the property owner. Landlords are increasingly accepting animal tenants to leases, but it’s recommended that renters submit a pet application. A pet agreement must be signed before the animal moves in. Pet bonds cannot be charged.
In Tasmania, tenants must not keep pets without their landlord’s permission. Tenants must get the consent in writing and will also need to carry out additional cleaning when leaving the property.
- Consider adding a Pet Resume to your Renter Resume application to improve your odds with your furry friend.
- In some strata schemes, some by-laws state that you also need to have written consent of the owner’s corporation.
- If you have a pet or intend to get one, you should always let your landlord/agent know, because it could affect the owner’s insurance.