HOME OWNER: Mackay landlord David Caracciolo doesn't mind his tenants having pets, but thinks the decision should be left up to the home owners discretion.
HOME OWNER: Mackay landlord David Caracciolo doesn't mind his tenants having pets, but thinks the decision should be left up to the home owners discretion. Rainee Shepperson

Review of tenancy legislation focuses on pet ownership

PET owners may find it easier to find a rental property following the government's review of tenancy legislation.

The Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation program which finishes today, was carried out in a bid to improve the real estate market for renters, landlords and real estate agents.

One of the most common concerns raised by tenants was the difficulty finding a property that would allow pets.

A Mackay tenant and pet owner who wishes to remain anonymous, said she has been looking for a new rental property for six months with no luck.

"Every house I have applied for over the last six months has rejected me because I have pets," she said.

"I have two small, well trained dogs that wouldn't cause any problems.

"For a lot of people, their dogs are like their children, so it's really unfair that pets are excluded."

The tenant is currently paying $320 a week for a four bedroom house, just so she can keep the dogs with her.

"I am renting a four bedroom house by myself, because there are so few other options that will allow pets," she said.

"Most units that have a small back yard suitable for a dog don't allow pets.

"I really think something needs to change."

Mackay rental property owner David Caracciolo is happy to allow tenants to have outside animals, but thinks it should be left up to the discretion of the landlord.

"Pets shouldn't be a given, it should be left up to the home owner to decide," Mr Caracciolo said.

"Some small dogs are fine but you will see cases where big dogs have dug up the yard and come inside the house and caused a huge mess.

"It's the small percentage of tenants that ruin it for everyone else."

 

Mr Caracciolo owns several rental properties and has been a landlord since the early 90s. Although he's had plenty of good experiences over the years, in the last six months tenants have moved out of Mr Caracciolo's properties without notice and before their lease is up.

"I've had three tenants who have left without me knowing," Mr Caracciolo said.

"They've left the house with doors broken, holes in walls, wiring tampered with and junk left all over the yard."

Mr Caracciolo believes the government's tenancy legislation review is more focused on helping tenants rather than landlords.

"I don't hold any hope the Palaszczuk government will make changes to benefit the landlord," he said.

An overhaul of the eviction process is something Mr Caracciolo said needs to happen urgently.

"At the moment it's about a three month process to evict someone from a house that isn't paying rent," he said.

"We still have to pay rates and insurance but with no rent being paid for weeks.

"The process needs to be shortened so landlords aren't left out of pocket.

"It's a lengthy, outdated system and it needs to be revamped."

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the with the number of pet owners in Australia, it was important to make it easier for landlords and tenants to agree on having a pet.

"Australians have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with 62 per cent of households keeping a pet, however only 10 per cent of rental properties have pets living in them," Mr de Brenni said. "Pets are part of our families so this is an issue we need to look at."

In Victoria every tenant will have the right to have a pet in their rental property under reforms to tenancy rules. The onus will be on the landlord to get approval to refuse consent to a pet, once they have received the request from the renter.



A dream 25 years in the making

premium_icon A dream 25 years in the making

An extensive career in hairdressing has led one Gladstone woman to grab her dream...

VOTE NOW: Best child care centres in Gladstone

premium_icon VOTE NOW: Best child care centres in Gladstone

Voting open now: Winner to be announced later this week

First female skipper makes history

premium_icon First female skipper makes history

VMR’s new skipper is marking her spot in the organisation’s history, working hard...