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Tasmania Should Follow Queensland’s Lead on Pets in Rental Homes

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Tags: Housing, Tenant Rights, Housing Crisis

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson

Tasmania should be implementing similar rental reforms to those in Queensland to make it harder for landlords to ban pets in rental properties. Pets are beloved companions and family members.  People who choose to have furry companions shouldn’t be refused housing on that basis. 

We are urging the Liberal Government to back the Greens’ Residential Tenancy (Rental Market Reform) Amendment Bill 2021, which would implement similar rental protections for pet owners in Tasmania. Our Bill amends the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 to control rent increases, implement energy efficiency standards, prohibit no-cause evictions – and makes better allowance for pets. 

Similar to the Queensland legislation, our Bill establishes a framework for the acceptance or refusal of pets – with tenants responsible for repairs and maintenance. Grounds for refusal include the property being unsuitable for a pet, unreasonable property damage, public health or safety risk or if the landlord would suffer significant financial hardship. 

Governments have a responsibility to ensure secure, affordable housing is available to everyone. Animal lovers shouldn’t be punished, and no one should have to give away their much loved family pet just to put a roof over their heads. 

For tenants, soaring rents and the threat of eviction are causing deep housing insecurity and driving more people towards poverty. The distressing decision to surrender an adored family pet is real for too many. 

We can do much better by Tasmanian renters, and we hope all Tasmanian MPs will see that and support our Bill.