The Greens Party have today introduced a “Renting with Pets” Bill into South Australian Parliament.
Currently the default position of most residential tenancy agreements in South Australia is that pets are not allowed.
This Bill reverses this so that pets are automatically allowed, except in certain circumstances.
“If a tenant 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,” according to a Greens statement.
“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,” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.
During the 2018-19 year, 259 South Australian pets were surrendered to the RSPCA and 108 were surrendered to the Animal Welfare League because their owners could not find pet-friendly rental properties.
In 2019-2020, there were 293 pets surrendered to the RSPCA for the same reason – an increase of 13%.
“This is a concerning trend and it shows that this reform is now more urgent than ever,” said Mr Parnell.
“I’ve been contacted by many South Australians who’ve share their stories of how difficult it is to rent with pets.
“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.”
The Bill is based on laws passed in the ACT, Victoria and NT.