renting and strata for cats

Renting: Despite some improvements over the past few years, pet-friendly rentals are still hard to secure even though well-cared for cats and their people make great tenants. Restrictions on pet ownership can have harmful consequences to both people and animals.

Until we see more widespread pet-friendly housing, it remains for individuals to convince landlords to accept pets.

Cat Protection recommends creating a resumé for your cat: a document that includes a photo; proof of desexing, microchipping and registration; vaccination records; a reference from your cat’s veterinarian including notes about your cat’s health and behaviour; and also references from previous landlords or neighbours.

A documented pet agreement can also be made and include your commitments to responsible pet ownership, such as regular parasite control, emergency contacts, hygiene management (remember never flush kitty-litter down the toilet) and issues such as confinement and noise mitigation.

You may wish to use this template resumé and pet agreement. Please call or email us if you’d like guidance on preparing your cat’s resumé.

Further in information on renting can be found at NSW Fair Trading and the Tenants’ Union of NSW.

Strata: Following extensive public consultation, strata law in NSW changed on 25 August 2021. Under the new laws, an owners corporation can only refuse to allow an animal into the scheme if that animal unreasonably interferes with another resident’s use and enjoyment of their lot or the common property. Blanket bans on pet ownership are no longer allowed; NSW Fair Trading has more information on rules in strata schemes.

Cat Protection applauds these new rules supporting responsible pet ownership.

The report Review of the keeping of animals in strata schemes in NSW details the findings of the public consultation. Cat Protection’s submission emphasised the benefits of a One Welfare framework, noting the importance of pets to people’s health, safety and wellbeing.

For a detailed analysis of pets and housing, we recommend the February 2021 report by AHURI Housing and housing assistance pathways with companion animals: risks, costs, benefits and opportunities. You can also watch the webinar on the report.

The NSW Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee has produced a helpful factsheet Companion animals and apartments with information current as of June 2020.