The pet-friendly laws in each Aussie state


The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work, the way we live, how we interact with others, and also how we feel about our furry friends.

One-third of pet owners added a new pet to their family in the last two years (33%), a decision which was mostly driven by extended lockdowns and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (58%), according to a new report by Choosi.

You could say the data is unsurprising given pets make their owners much happier, they positively influence their mental well-being and physical health, as well as mood and stress levels.

This was particularly the case during COVID-19 lockdowns, with 42% of pet owners saying that their pets helped them avoid loneliness.

But while there are many pros to welcoming a new pet into the household, there is one rather large con – finding somewhere to live.

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According to the report, 79% of pet owners say that the increased needs and requirements that come with pet ownership make it difficult to find a property to live in.

And is especially problematic during the current rental crisis where low vacancy rates and sky-high prices are making securing a rental harder than ever.

While many said that finding a rental property with enough internal space, outside space, secure fencing, and a pet-friendly neighbourhood are the main issues, landlords prohibiting pets is also a significant problem.

In some cases where strata are involved, even property owners may find they’re discouraged or even banned from having a pet on their property.

Thankfully for pet owners, the rules and regulations around rental properties and pets are changing, although these vary across the country.

Here are the key characteristics of the laws in each Aussie state.

NSW pet laws

For renters

According to, there is no term in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that prohibits a renter from keeping a pet, or that requires you to ask for your landlord’s consent before you keep a pet.

But, many landlords will include a clause restricting pets in the residential tenancy agreement (i.e. your lease), and there is no specific ban on them doing so.

The standard form of the residential tenancy agreement issued by NSW Fair Trading includes additional terms which require you to have your landlord’s consent to keep animals. Additional terms may be crossed out when you and the landlord sign the agreement, but if they are not crossed out, they will apply to your agreement.

Landlords and agents sometimes ask for additional amounts of bond (that is, over and above the usual four weeks’ bond) if you keep a pet, but this is against the law.

For Strata

Meanwhile for owners, in August 2021, new regulations relating to the keeping of animals and by-laws came into effect for strata laws in NSW.

Strata schemes may have a by-law about the keeping of animals but a by-law can only prohibit pets where the keeping of an animal would unreasonably interfere or impact other occupants.

The Strata Schemes Management Regulation specifies the range of circumstances that are considered ‘unreasonable interference’.

Blanket up-front bans on animals cannot be imposed.

VIC pet laws

For renters

In Victoria, renters who want to have a pet on the property must ask their rental provider (landlord) for permission.

The landlord then has 14 days to decide whether or not to allow the pet and give written consent.

Landlords are only able to refuse if they have permission from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The changes also mean landlords are not permitted to unreasonably reject applications from prospective tenants, on the basis they’ll be accompanied by a pet.

For Strata

Meanwhile, the standard or default Victorian strata building rules do not prohibit pets or require advance permission for strata owners and residents to keep a pet in a strata building.

But, strata buildings can make new and different rules about pets by a three-quarters majority vote, meaning many strata buildings change the standard or model rule about pets to prohibit them.

Owners wanting a pet would then need to apply for approval.

QLD pet laws

For renters

From 1 October 2022, laws in Queensland are changing to make it easier for renters to have a pet.

This will include:

  • A renter can seek the property owner’s permission to keep a pet, and property owners can only refuse a request on identified reasonable grounds, such as keeping the pet would breach laws or by-laws
  • The property owner must respond to a request for a pet in writing within 14 days, or consent is implied
  • The property owner’s consent may be subject to reasonable conditions such as the pet having to be kept outside. A rent increase or a pet bond is not a reasonable condition.

For Strata

In Queensland, the default position about pets in strata buildings is set out under by-law 11 in Schedule 4 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 which says that strata residents must have prior strata building approval to bring or keep an animal in the building.

Strata bodies are not allowed to have a blanket ban on pets.

SA pet laws

For renters

ACT law instructs tenants to seek permission to keep a pet at a rental property if the signed tenancy agreement requires them to do so.

Landlords can only refuse consent on very specific grounds and with the approval of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Pet bonds are not allowed but the tenant is responsible for any repairs or additional maintenance due to keeping a pet.

For strata

Similar to Queensland, pet owners in South Australia have to have permission from strata or body corporate before they are able to bring an animal onto the property.

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WA pet laws

For renters


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