This recent confession from a tenant is a good example of how NOT to go about getting approval to keep a pet in your unit.

It may not seem fair, but there are rules, and hoops aplenty to jump through if you want to keep a pet.

You need to check your lease for any ‘no-pet’ clauses, seek permission from your agent so that they can seek permission from the owner, who then checks with the Owners Corp or Strata to make sure everyone is in agreement. If the stars align with Jupiter on the first of the month you may just be lucky enough to welcome a new furry friend into the apartment.

Even in ‘pet friendly’ strata buildings, landlords currently have the right to refuse pets if they don’t want them. Up in arms at the injustice of it all, The Tenant’s Union of NSW (TUNSW) have called for a ban to the ‘no pets’ clause in tenancy agreements, as part of their submission to Fair Trading NSW’s tenancy review discussion paper. They believe, ‘This is unreasonable and more than a little patronising.’ and argue that keeping a pet is “both [a] personal choice and personal responsibility” that adults should not be required to seek permission for.’

Some of the common reasons for Landlords not allowing pets is due to the perceived damage they may cause to their investment. True, a pet may cause stains on carpets, scratches on floors and walls or drive the neighbours bonkers with yapping and squealing – but swap the word ‘pet’ to ‘toilet-training toddler’ and you’ll find the outcome will be very much the same.

However, whilst it is against the law to discriminate against kids, (as well as race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, homosexuality, or transgender btw) pet lovers don’t get the same deal. I’m sure if given half the chance, my previous Landlord would have written ‘No Stubborn 2 year old boys’ under the Special Terms of my lease. RIP beige rental carpet.

So the review of tenancy laws could spell good news for those wanting to keep pets, but until we know the outcome, it’s probably best to hold your (metaphorical) horses and ask first before rushing out to the pet shop.