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The Government is proposing to introduce pet bonds and other pet-related changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA).

These changes are expected to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for rental properties and clarify rules around damage.

This is part of the Government’s proposed range of changes to the RTA that includes changing tenancy termination rules.

The Government is proposing to amend the RTA to:  

  • Introduce a pet bond (set at a maximum of two weeks’ rent) that can be charged in addition to the existing bond.  
  • Make tenants liable for all pet damage to properties beyond fair wear and tear. This means a tenant is fully liable for any accidental or careless damage caused by pets, as well as any intentional damage. 
  • Require that tenants may only have a pet or pets with the consent of the landlord, who can withhold consent on reasonable grounds.  

Introducing the proposed pet bonds will allow landlords to require an extra bond payment from tenants with pets, meaning more landlords could potentially accept pets.

If Parliament passes the Bill, tenants are expected to have an easier time finding a place to live if they have a pet, since landlords will be reassured the pet bond system is there should pet damage occur.

In order to make these changes, the Government expects to introduce an Amendment Bill in May.

Please note that these changes are not yet law, and do not yet affect tenancies.

See more information about the proposed pet-related RTA changes