Group wants to open more rentals to pet owners


Just a week ago we were on James Valentine’s Afternoons on ABC Radio discussing the plight of renters with pets – a topic we pick up in this week’s podcast. And then there’s been the apartment “pet wars” of the past couple of years.

Now a new ginger group has emerged, campaigning against default bans on pets by landlords and their agents.

Why is this such a big deal in apartments? Well, half of apartments are rented out and, generally speaking, two-thirds of Australians have pets.

What that means is that a lot of renters are missing out on having companion animals, and a lot of landlords are missing out on a chunk of potential tenants, because their agents routinely stick a “no pets” clause into rental agreements – sometimes without the property owners even knowing – and a lot of strata committees make it very hard to get pets into the block.

Now, determined to shake all that up comes a group called Rent With Pets which is setting out to “change the status paw on rental laws”.  (Is that supposed to be a pun on status quo?)

This is what they say in their media release.

“Australia is home to 29 million pets with two thirds of households experiencing the joys and health benefits of having a companion animal,” it says.

“Yet, less than 10 per cent of rental properties are advertised as pet friendly, contributing to thousands of animals being surrendered every year.

As Australia faces a rental crisis (even before the pandemic), Companion Animal Network Australia’s new Rent with Pets program is set to change the ‘status paw’ on rental laws to allow more renters to experience the joy of the human-animal bond and prevent beloved pets from becoming homeless.

“The Rent with Pets program aims to increase awareness around the surrender of pets to shelters due to difficulty finding pet friendly rental properties, and how we can all help to stop this,” said Trish Ennis, National Executive of Companion Animal Network – Australia (CANA).

“We want to work toward better rental laws in each state to support responsible pet owners and create a national law similar to what Victoria brought in this year.”

The media release goes on to explain that CANA is a registered charity with member organisations across the country, including Animal Welfare League QLD, Animal Welfare League SA, Lort Smith (VIC), Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs’ Homes

Rent with Pets is providing information, advice and resources to support responsible pet owner tenants, welcome landlords, and encourage pet friendly rental laws.

“The Rent with Pets program aims to change attitudes towards pets and renting and increase awareness about responsible pet ownership and landlord/ property managers’ understanding of the opportunities the responsible pet owner can bring to a rental property,” said Ms Ennis. 

“We can help animal loving Australians create more pet friendly homes by connecting responsible pet owners with pet friendly landlords and property managers. After all, a house isn’t a home without a pet.”

If you are interested, Rent with Pets has a number of ways you can get involved.

  • Visit and learn how to work with each other to achieve the goal of no surrenders due to rental refusal.
  • Sign their pledge and contact your local MP to encourage pet friendly rental laws in your state.
  • Ask people to become responsible pet owners and help others to do the same. (See their responsible pet ownership checklist here.)
  • If you’re a landlord or property manager, encourage responsible renting with pets by adding to advertisements ‘will consider pets with references’. (Here are some tips to write a stellar pet resume).
  • Sign up to Companion Animal Network Tales e-newsletter to join our many supporters for pet friendly homes and be informed.
  • If you are a tenant, landlord, property manager or animal welfare advocate, tell us your story about renting with pets.
  • Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Linkedin.
  • Download Rent with Pets resources and share on social media with hashtag #forpetfriendlyhomes to help raise awareness!

Here at Flat Chat we can’t necessarily endorse the organisation – we don’t know them – but their hearts seem to be in the right place.

It’s not about making pets compulsory, the starting point would be to make landlords and agents think for a moment before they say “no pets”.

If you like this post or find it helpful, please share it with interested friends using the social media buttons. If you wish to respond, registered readers can add a comment at the foot of the story or, we’d prefer, on the Flat Chat Forum.

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