Pet owners could find it even harder when applying for rentals around Brisbane as more landlords and body corporates are requesting detailed “pet resumes”.
Tenants are being asked to provide photos, certificates and even references for their furry friends before rental consideration.
Pet owner Suellen Sinclair said she was made to “jump through hoops” when applying for a Brisbane unit with her maltese poodle, Theo.
“I applied for so many places before I found our apartment in West End, and even then we still had to jump through a number of hoops,” Ms Sinclair said.
“To get approval for Theo I had to provide the body corporate with his photo, breed, gender, weight, previous vet certificates and references – I basically had to submit a pet resume.
“There are other residents in my complex who also have pets, and they all had to go through a similar approval process.”
Brisbane’s Animal Welfare League Queensland spokeswoman Shan Veivers said things such as pet references could cause more issues for pet owners.
“If you have a new pet and cannot get a reference from a previous landlord, then what will you do?” she said.
“How do these people break into the market? It’s just going to make it even harder.”
She said a lack of pet-friendly rentals was a “substantial problem”.
“A lot of real estate agents don’t see the value of pets, and landlords think they are going to cause damage, but that’s rarely the case,” Ms Veivers said.
“In fact, pet owners generally stay longer in a rental.”
Although there are benefits for landlords who open their rentals to pet owners, only about 10 per cent do so in Queensland, according to the Residential Tenancies Authority.
Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud said more real estate agents and landlords were screening pets.
“Many unit owners are cautious about accepting pets into apartments due to potential damage to the property, allergies and noise,” Mr Mifsud said.
However, with an oversupply of units in Brisbane, which is forecast to get worse, picky landlords may find their options becoming limited.
Mr Mifsud said tenants should also consider strata bylaws.
“If you are a tenant, your landlord or real estate agent should provide you with a copy of the lease and the bylaws,” he said.
“Sometimes properties are advertised as pet friendly, when it is clearly stated in the bylaws that the complex does not allow pets.”
“Tenants wishing to keep a pet on the property should ask their real estate agent to speak to the landlord.”
Mr Mifsud said honesty was the best approach.
“If the body corporate suspects you are keeping a pet in your apartment without consent, they may serve you with a bylaw breach notice, which can ultimately be enforced in a magistrates court.
“Therefore, being upfront and honest with your property owner and body corporate is definitely the best tactic.”
In the 2013-14 financial year, 133,495 animals were surrendered to the RSPCA.