Animal hospital welcomes new laws for Victorian renters

pets and renting
Lort Smith CEO Fiona Webster and Teddy

The largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, Lort Smith, is applauding new laws on pets and renting. As of 2 March 2020, Victorian tenants wanting to incorporate a pet into their lifestyle can request their landlord’s consent via the Consumer Affairs Victoria pet request form.

Regardless of when a lease has commenced, landlords can now not unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to allow a pet. 

“Melbourne is home to more than a million dogs and cats; and we know that animals are an important part of many families,” Lort Smith CEO Fiona Webster said. 

There are over 29 million pets in Australia—and with Melbourne being home to more than a million dogs and cats alone, there’s little doubt animals are part of the fabric of Victoria. 

Located in North Melbourne, Lort Smith rehomes around 850 animals every year. 

“Sadly, at Lort Smith around a third of animals are surrendered due to accommodation issues,” Webster said. “While Lort Smith will never euthanase an animal capable of being rehomed, others may not receive another chance.” 

Despite misplaced claims, there’s no reason to consider pet owners as bad or risky tenants—in fact, the opposite is probably true. 

“A well trained and properly cared for pet, with an attentive owner, will cause no more wear and tear to a residential property than a human,” Webster said.


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