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As part of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 reform, all Victorian tenants, including public housing tenants, will be able to keep a pet in their rental home.

When will the new pet laws take effect?

They will take effect on 2 March 2020.

What do the new pet laws mean for tenants?

The new pet laws mean that you will be able to keep a pet at your property after asking permission in writing from your local housing office. You will need to complete the Pet request form (Word) for each new pet you want to keep from 2 March 2020.

What about renters who already have pets?

If you had a pet before 2 March 2020, you don’t need to ask for permission to keep that pet.

What are the rules about keeping a pet at my property?

When you request to keep a pet at your property, you need to:

  • Comply with local council by-laws regarding the pet
  • Prevent the pet from causing any damage or nuisance behaviour at the property.

What if my local office refuses consent for the pet to be kept at my property?

Under the new laws, consent for a tenant to keep a pet cannot be unreasonably refused. If your local housing office does not approve the pet, they must make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 14 days from the date the Pet request form is received. VCAT will then decide about the pet.

For more information about keeping pets at your property, contact your local housing office. You will also find information about keeping pets on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

What other changes to rental laws will affect public housing tenants?

Consumer Affairs Victoria has information about the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 that will affect the rights and obligations of all Victorian tenants and landlords. Most of these changes will be in place from 1 July 2020.