Pets, or No Pets?  Why owners should consider pets on applications.

Perth Real Estate Property Management News & Market Insights  |  12 May 2021

For the past two years, owners of Victorian rental properties have been legally unable to decline applications for tenancy on the basis of pet ownership.

While such legislation does not yet exist in WA, DMIRS has already conducted a preliminary survey with REIWA members on the topic, and implementation is likely.

It's common for landlords to refuse applications where a prospective tenant owns a pet, usually because;

  1. They (or someone they know) have had a previous negative experience, or
  2. They have never been pet owners themselves and feel that someone will better maintain their investment without pets.

However, stipulating 'no pets' potentially excludes otherwise sound prospective tenants. For example, an applicant may have an older dog who isn't overly active, a well-trained pet or a small pet such as a rabbit or bird. 

Many families require rental properties, and a high percentage own a family pet - usually a dog, cat, or both. When it comes to property damage caused by pets, in most cases it is easy for the tenant to rectify - for example, reticulation pipes and flywire. Even in situations involving pet urine, there are sophisticated treatments available to rectify stains and/or smells.

Xceed Real Estate Licensee, Daisy Campbell says that, in her experience, children can cause more damage to rental properties than pets.

"At Xceed, we encourage our landlords to consider pets subject to application. An application will be viewed more favourably where detailed information about the pet is provided." Daisy commented.

"For example, a photo of their pet/s, documentation from their vet showing the pet's age, and nothing adverse about the pet in their rental history will certainly make the owner feel more comfortable about accepting their application."

Where an application including a pet is accepted, it is based only on that particular pet or pets. In other words, should an existing tenant wish to get a new pet, they must seek approval from the landlord first, providing information regarding the proposed animal. 

So, rather than significantly limiting their prospects and potentially excluding an excellent, long term tenant, landlords would benefit from an alternate approach when it comes to pets and rental properties - before it becomes a legal requirement.

For more information on how to secure the best tenants for investment property contact us on

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