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Claws and effect

New Queensland pet owner tenancy ruling sees the cat thrown amongst the pigeons

One of the biggest changes to Queensland residential tenancy law due to come into effect on October 01 represents a huge plus for pet owners.

From that date, landlords will no longer being able to decline their rental lease application except in exceptional  circumstances.

And, according to Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association (ARAMA) CEO, Trevor Rawnsley, this has created what he describes as a “highly emotional issue” with many body corporates scrambling to tweak their property’s bylaws to ensure their laws regarding pets are reasonable and enforceable before the new ruling comes in.

Our latest AccomNews print issue is available now! Read it HERE.

Under the new ruling, a tenant will still have to seek consent for a pet, but landlords can no longer advertise properties with a no-pet rule and must give reasonable explanation for refusing a pet.

Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash

Each and every request  by a tenancy-seeking pet owner needs to be considered in its individual circumstance and a landlord can only say no to a pet request if they can establish any number of the prescribed grounds set out in the new ruling.

These grounds include existing body corporate by-laws relating to pets, if the property is appropriate for a pet based on size and security, and if a pet is deemed dangerous.

The new ruling also sees landlords no longer be able to advertise a property with a blanket pet ban, change the bond or charge a premium for a pet.

And landlords will also be required to respond to a tenant’s pet request within 14 days and if no response is received by the tenant, this will be viewed as an indication of approval.

There are however, Mr Rawnsley said, protections in place for landlords who are concerned over damage a pet may cause to their property.

Photo by Prasad Panchakshari on Unsplash

“When that tenant moves out with their pet, as part of a tenancy agreement they must make good the apartment back to its original condition as it was at the start of the lease.” he said.

Mr Rawnsley said there is nothing like pet ownership to really get people’s blood boiling.

“It’s up there with all the other ‘P’s’ – passive smoking, parking and parties,” he said.

“But it’s crystal clear, from the first of October in Queensland that’s what the rules are.

“And for some landlords it’s really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

“Back in the day when you could say no pets, a service animal, usually a guide dog, had the right same rights as a human in terms of entering a lot, the same with a car or a bus or an aeroplane.

“There has always been a propensity for people to call their dog or cat a service animal or a calming pet or something similar to get around this.

“But from October 01, there’s no need to fudge anymore.”

When AccomNews asked Mr Rawnsley if he saw the new ruling having major impact on the ARAMA membership his response was a definitive ‘no’.

“Our members are very well informed.,” he said.

“We’ve been telling them these changes have been coming for a while, we’ve been running webinars, we’ve published articles, so the members are pretty okay with it.

“But it’s those lot owners who don’t understand the rules who will get angry.”

Photo by Meg Jerrard on Unsplash

Finally,  when AccomNews asked Mr Rawnsley his thoughts on what actually constitutes a pet he laughed and said that was a very good question given in these days that could just about cover any animal.

“I’d hate to see what happens if a tenant with a mongoose moves in next door to another tenant who owns a cobra,” he said.

“That would be a recipe for disaster.”

While the changes to the tenancy laws, coming into play from October 1, 2022, put a positive obligation on landlords to allow pets, according to the Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) report in the latest Resort News, the keeping of pets in a body corporate can be a divisive topic.

Read the full report in the October edition of Resort News subscribe HERE

As the reforms place an active obligation on landlords to permit existing tenants to have a pet, this may create a false expectation that landlord approval alone is sufficient to keep an animal.

It is essential to remember that receiving a landlord’s approval to keep a pet is not a green light for a tenant to bring a pet into a community titles scheme and tenants who live in community titles schemes also need to seek approval for their pet from the body corporate.

Also, tenants are likely to find themselves in breach of the body corporate’s by-laws if they bring a pet into the scheme without first checking what the by-laws say about keeping animals.

More information can be found on the BCCM website covering:

  • animal by-laws;
  • disputes about animals in a body corporate;
  • self-resolution for disputes;
  • conciliation;
  • adjudication;
  • submitting motions

You can also contact the Information and Community Education unit on 1800 060 119 or submit an enquiry online for a written response at







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