Reasonable grounds could include body corporate laws, security concerns such as inadequate fencing, inappropriate building size or if the pet is considered dangerous such as a venomous snake, among others. 

It’s important to note that a tenant must still seek consent for a pet. 

The new reform is set to change the balance of rental laws which have traditionally gravitated towards landlords' rights. 

Under old rules, a landlord could decline a tenant's request for a pet with no specific reason. They could also advertise the property with a no-pet caveat.

“Property owners can no longer simply have a blanket ‘no-pet’ policy, and instead, property owners will be required by law to consider pet requests on a case-by-case basis,” said Antonia Mercorella, REIQ CEO. 

Ms Mercorella said property owners would also need to follow a strict timeframe when responding to tenant requests for a pet. 

“The property owner needs to respond to the pet request in writing within the statutory timeframe of 14 days, or consent will be deemed,” she said.

“Further, if the property owner’s negative response does not align with the available grounds to decline the request, approval may be deemed under the laws.”

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for landlords. 

According to the new laws, there are safeguards in place for landlords who have pets in their properties.

“For example, if the pet is kept inside, the property owner could include a condition requiring carpets in the premises to be professionally cleaned at the end of tenancy,” Ms Mercorella explained.

“In addition, both parties should be aware from the outset that any damage caused by pets during the tenancy has been excluded from the definition of fair wear and tear, meaning property owners will be able to seek compensation for pet related damages to the premises and inclusions.”

CEO of Tenants Queensland Penny Carr backed the amendments to the legislation.

"I think there's an enormous amount of evidence out there about the benefits of people having pets, particularly people who live on their own or who have some sort of physical or mental health issue," Ms Carr told Savings.com.au in August.

"For most owners who are investing for the long term, they want a long term solid tenant. And I think that there is some evidence to show that people with pets are remaining in properties for longer periods of time."

Another noteworthy change to tenancy agreements include the grounds on which a tenant or landlord could terminate a lease. 

Under the new rules, a property owner must provide a specific reason for ending a tenancy, and even still, cannot end the tenancy before the original agreed date.


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