Greens welcome pets in rental homes

A Greens’ Bill amending Residential Tenancy laws, that will allow people to rent with their pets, will be introduced into the South Australian Parliament this afternoon.

According to statistics provided by the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League, in the 2018-2019 financial  year a total of 367 pets were surrendered to their South Australian animal shelters simply because their owners couldn’t find pet-friendly rental accommodation.

According to the 2016 Census over 28% of South Australians rent. Yet very few rental properties are advertised as pet-friendly.

“On average, one pet is abandoned to a South Australian animal shelter every single day of the year, when their families have had to make the heartbreaking choice between keeping their much loved pet or having a place to live” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“Pets are part of our families, so being told that you’re not allowed to take them with you to your new home is an awful position to be put in. Sadly though, this is a reality for many South Australians.

“With home ownership becoming increasingly elusive, the number of people renting is rising. We need to make sure that where rental properties are suitable for pets, these pets are allowed to stay with their families.

“Currently the default position of most residential tenancy agreements is that pets are not allowed. The Greens “Renting with Pets” Bill flips this around so that pets are allowed except in certain circumstances. 

“If a person applies to keep a pet and the landlord doesn’t consent, the landlord can apply to SACAT (South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) and SACAT will determine whether the pet can stay, and any conditions that would be imposed, after giving consideration to the circumstances. 

“The Greens believe that this is a much fairer system than we currently have where the tenant has no rights at all when it comes to keeping their pets with them. Having to give up your much loved pet in order to have a place to live, is not a choice we think people should have to make” concluded Mark Parnell MLC.