The NSW Government is giving NSW tenants, property managers, landlords, and anyone interested the opportunity to have their say on pets in rental homes.

Currently, landlords in NSW can refuse to allow a tenant to keep a pet without providing a reason unless it’s an assistance animal. In other states and territories, rules have recently changed to make it easier for renters to keep pets in their home.

Sixty-nine per cent of Australians now own a pet and these restrictions can result in serious obstacles for renters and their pets, with RSPCA NSW stating that nearly 20 per cent of surrenders they see are from pet owners who have had no choice but to give up their companion animal due to a shortage of pet-friendly housing.

Dr Ann-Margret Withers, Senior Manager of Outreach Programs at RSPCA NSW, said they know circumstances like these are not a reliable indicator of a person’s capacity to love and care for their pet, which is why these laws need to be updated.

RSPCA NSW will be lodging a submission to voice why they believe the current rental laws need to change.

Dr Withers said that the current laws in NSW as well as forcing people to part with their pets, are also a barrier for women leaving domestic violence situations.

“One of the reasons that women delay leaving their violent relationship is because they have concerns about their pet’s welfare and don’t want to leave them behind. Our community domestic violence program helps combat this issue by providing temporary housing and care for victims’ pets, allowing women to prioritise finding safe refuge for themselves and their children. Our goal is to reunite survivors with their animals as soon as possible.”  

Public consultation for ‘Keeping Pets in Rental Homes’ is open until 5 pm, 2 December 2022. Those who want to have their say can do so by clicking here

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