Renting with pets

A tenant must seek written approval from the property manager/owner to keep a pet at the rental property. It is a significant breach if an animal, other than a working dog, is kept at the premises without the property manager/owner’s approval.

Any nuisance and damages caused by an approved pet are the responsibility of the tenant and pet damages are not considered fair wear and tear at the end of the tenancy.

The rules around the frequency and timeframes for routine inspections apply regardless of whether an approved pet is kept at the property or not.

What is a pet? 

Under the Act, a pet is a domesticated animal or an animal that is dependent on a person for the provision of food or shelter and does not include a working dog or an animal prescribed by the regulation not to be a pet.

Different rules apply for working dogs, which refer to assistance dogs, guide dogs or hearing dogs (as defined under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009), corrective services dogs or police dogs. A tenant may keep a working dog at the premises without the lessor’s approval.

Requesting to keep a pet at the start of a tenancy

If a tenant has a pet when they apply for a rental property, they should notify the managing party in their application and ensure this is reflected in the tenancy agreement.  

If the property manager/owner agrees to let the tenant keep a pet, the number and types of animals allowed should be listed in the tenancy agreement. It can also be helpful to outline any specific agreements about the pets in the special terms of the tenancy agreement, such as whether the pet can be kept inside or outside the house or if pest treatment or carpet cleaning will be required at the end of the tenancy.  

The Act outlines a pet application process for requesting a pet during a tenancy, but this process does not apply when requesting to keep a pet at the start of a tenancy.

Requesting to keep a pet during a tenancy

Pet request process

If a tenant wants to get a pet during a tenancy, they must seek written approval from the property manager/owner to keep a pet at the rental property. They should formalise their request by completing a Request for approval to keep a pet in a rental property (Form 21) to seek the property manager/owner’s approval. 

The property manager/owner must respond to the request in writing within 14 days of receiving the request form and state two key pieces of information: 

  1. whether they approve or refuse the tenant’s request, and
  2. other conditions for approval, or their reason for refusing the request.

If the property manager/owner does not respond within 14 days, or the response does not satisfy the legislative requirements mentioned above, the pet request will be automatically approved.  

The Pet request response for lessors template can assist property managers/owners in responding to their tenant’s pet request. 

Additional resources

Rental law changes around pets

Changes to legislation around pets in a rental property came into effect on 1 October 2022. These changes provide tenants, property owners and property managers with a framework to negotiate the pet approval process during a tenancy.

Find out more about the 1 October 2022 changes by watching the Negotiating renting with pets webinar or listen to the Renting with pets podcast.  

Renting with a pet within a body corporate

Tenants who rent a property in a body corporate are subject to by-laws around keeping pets. Tenants may need to obtain body corporate committee approval to keep a pet, in addition to approval from the property manager/owner. Tenants should check body corporate by-laws before asking to keep a pet, as breaching these by-laws is a breach of the tenancy agreement. A property manager/owner may refuse a request to keep a pet if keeping it would contravene a body corporate by-law.

The property manager/owner has a 14-day period to respond to a tenant’s pet request, but a body corporate committee’s approval process may take longer. The property manager/owner may refuse a pet approval request if their 14-day approval period is ending, and the body corporate has not provided a response to the pet request. If the committee later provides approval outside the 14-day period, the tenant can re-apply to the property manager/owner for the pet, with evidence of the committee’s approval.

Tenants can dispute a body corporate committee’s decision to refuse a pet through the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM).

Further reading: View a flowchart of the body corporate approval process for tenants to learn more.

This webinar below recorded jointly with the BCCM provides information to help you understand how to navigate the tenancy laws for renting with a pet alongside the body-corporate by-laws and processes.

House rules and park rules

Residents who live in rooming accommodation, such as a boarding house or student accommodation, may be subject to house rules. Residents should refer to the house rules to identify any restrictions around pets and talk with the provider/manager or caretaker. 

Tenants who live in a caravan park may be subject to park rules. Tenants should refer to the park rules to identify any restrictions around pets and talk with the park manager/owner or caretaker.

Renting with livestock in a rental property

If a tenant is renting in rural, remote, or on suburban acreage and wants to keep an animal that is deemed to be livestock, the tenant should have written permission from the property manager/owner. The tenant must also ensure the animal is registered with Biosecurity Queensland.

Examples of livestock animals include: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, alpacas, horses, ponies or beehives.

For more information visit BioSecurity entity registration website.


Pet request response template for lessors
v2 Dec22

A lessor/agent can use this letter template to respond to a tenant's request to keep a pet, and to ensure their response contains the required information and is compliant with legislative requirements.

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