renting and strata for cats

Despite some improvements over the past few years, pet-friendly rentals and strata 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 and owners corporations 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.

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

Strata law in NSW is currently being reviewed. The public consultation period has closed and reports will be made to Parliament before the end of 2021. Cat Protection’s submission to the review 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.

NSW Fair Trading has information on renting and strata on its website.