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‘It’s not fair’: Landlords fear new pet rental laws will leave them out of pocket

Keeping pets is about to become much easier for Victorian renters, but there are fears landlords are getting a raw deal.

Under new legislation which comes into effect on March 2, landlords will no longer be able to “unreasonably refuse” tenant requests to keep pets at rental properties.

President of Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Leah Calnan, said it’s a decision that could leave many landlords out of pocket.

“There’s many examples where an animal has caused damage, whether it be a cat clawing at floorboards or urinating on carpet, or dogs chewing on parts of the property,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“Bonds just don’t cover it. Landlord insurance won’t cover it so owners are left out of pocket.”

Under the new laws, landlords wishing to deny tenants permission to keep pets will have to take the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and argue their case.

“The government and VCAT have no idea on the potential impact this is going to have. VCAT will be clogged, it will delay hearings, and what about if investors leave the market?,” Ms Calnan said.

“It’s dangerous by the Andrews government.”

Rocco, a landlord, said a dog at his property caused $10,000 worth of damage, and he’s been left significantly out of pocket because the property only has a $1300 bond.

“I’ve got pets myself but, I mean, I don’t let them do that,” he told Tom Elliott.

“It’s not fair.”

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Image: krblokhin / Getty