February 8, 2023

People locked out of the rental market because they want to keep their pets could soon get a reprieve.

NSW Leader of the Opposition Chris Minns has vowed to make rental laws much more pet-friendly if he wins office in the March state election.

Under current law, the landlord has to approve the tenant to have a pet and does not have to give any reason for not doing so.

People with pets may find it easier to secure rental properties in NSW if new laws were proposed (file image pictured)

This has left many pet owners out in the cold with Australia suffering from a severe shortage of rental properties.

Minns promised to change the laws to put the onus on owners to show why you can’t keep a pet.

Under the proposed changes, landlords will have 21 days to give a reason that is acceptable to a newly created Rent Commissioner, and if they don’t, tenants will default to the legal right to have pets.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns (pictured) has vowed to change laws that give owners the default right to ban pets.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns (pictured) has vowed to change laws that give owners the default right to ban pets.

Minns said the goal of the policy was to take the stress out of finding a rental and to simplify the rules.

“Just because a person lives in a rental, doesn’t mean they can’t make it a home, and for so many renters across our state, that includes a family pet.” he he said the daily telegraph.

‘Under NSW Labor, the rules will be simpler and fairer for both tenants and landlords.

“The work plan will streamline the process and set a firm deadline so that tenants can have more certainty.”

The NSW Liberal government has submitted similar proposed law changes for consultation but has not committed to implementing them.

Earlier this year, animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia said the rental crisis was tough enough that they had to choose between a home and their furry companions.

Chief Executive Trish Ennis called on governments to impose regulations preventing landlords from discriminating against renters with pets.

Ms. Ennis said there were too many pet deliveries as a result of rent and housing issues.

Queensland changed its rules in October to prevent landlords from prohibiting tenants from owning pets or listing rentals with a no-pet rule.

Tenants still need consent to have a pet, but landlords who decline requests must provide an explanation for prescribed reasons.

Fiona Batemen is pictured with her cat Kitten, whom she and her partner James had to put down to find new rental accommodation.

Fiona Batemen is pictured with her cat Kitten, whom she and her partner James had to put down to find new rental accommodation.

However, the change was not universally welcomed and some real estate investors expressed their discontent on social media.

Last July, an Adelaide couple was forced to put down their long-time pet cat to find a new place to live.

James and Fiona Bateman had to euthanize their cat Kitten, whom they had for seven years, after struggling to find a pet-friendly rental.