The Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) has joined forces with Make Renting Fair QLD, and formally asked the Hon Mick de Brenni to amend Queensland’s tenancy laws.
“Many people rely on their pets for companionship. It should be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they have a pet as part of their family,” says the AWLQ’s Strategic Director Dr Joy Verrinder. “We know from the thousands of people who adopt animals from our four busy Rehoming Centres in South East Queensland each year, that animals are very important in people’s lives. We also share their heartbreak and devastation when they are surrendering a much-loved dog or cat because a body corporate or landlord has told them they cannot keep their pet.”
A quarter of animals surrendered to AWLQ each year are due to accommodation issues including people not being able to find pet-friendly accommodation due to agents or landlords not allowing pets, moving and homelessness.
“We are often contacted by people seeking help about what to do when they are refused permission to keep their pet,” Dr Verrinder continues. “Most people feel powerless in this situation. If they complain or question the decision, they may lose their accommodation. If they move, a massive effort is required to find a suitable place to live with their animal.
“To limit the ability for people to keep animals who are often their best friends is outrageous. Just as people are entitled to rent with their partner, child, sister or brother, pet owners should be entitled to rent with their pets. There will be varying levels of responsibility in caring for properties amongst all people regardless of whether or not they own a pet. There are also already safeguards in place for landlords through the existing rental bond system, as well as opportunities to insure with companies who cover pet damage.”
AWLQ and Make Renting Fair in Queensland support legislation which allows tenants to keep pets. A tenant would still be required to seek consent from a property owner. The property owner can only refuse with approval from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal based on a set of prescribed reasons. Similar legislation has already been passed in Victoria, the ACT as well as NT.
Currently, a landlord can refuse pets in their rental properties without providing any reasonable grounds.
The Residential Tenancies Authority reports only about 10% of Queensland’s rental properties allow pets. Yet, 84% of families either have or would like to have a pet.
Support our petition and ask the Queensland Government to introduce legislation to make it easier for renters to keep their pets.