Renting with dogs? Here’s how to make sure you get approved 41



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You have finally found your dream rental but to read the dreaded words “no pets” in the advertisement can make your heart sink. It is natural for property owners to be concerned about having pets in their rentals. They want to ensure that their property remains undamaged and the neighbourhood remains peaceful. As pet owners, there are a number of things you can do to increase the chances of having your dog/s allowed in rentals.



Doing training with your dog is a great way to start. The RSPCA Animal Training and Behaviour Centre holds a number of fun based classes which can teach you how to train your dog to be happy and well behaved family members. Classes start from K9 Kindergarten and Basic Training, and continue through to Intermediate, Dog Sports and trick classes. They also give free advice on how to manage barking, escaping, digging and other undesired behaviours.


Prepare a resume for your dog/s

This should include medical records (vaccinations, treatment schedules such as worming and flea prevention etc), references from past landlords, neighbours and vets, your dog/s training history and details of how seriously you take responsible pet ownership (tidying up after your dog, keeping your dog clean, providing them with appropriate levels of exercise etc).


Mat training

It is understandable that many pet owners are nervous about or don’t want to have their pets inside, especially in rental properties. Remember that dogs are social animals and like to be with you! We believe that having pets inside is better for your dog behaviourally as it helps to prevent many problem behaviours often seen outside such as barking and escaping. Teaching your dog where you would like them to lay in the house is the first step and can help to prevent unwanted behaviours such as jumping on the sofa!


Crate training

Crate training your dog is another great way to start to incorporate dogs inside the house, minimising the risk of damage to the floors and furniture and minimising having dog hair everywhere! There are many benefits of having a crate trained dog. Refer to our crate training and benefits of a crate trained dog information sheets.


Keeping your dogs entertained

There are many ideas to help keep your pets entertained to prevent them finding their own entertainment in your rental properties garden beds! Refer to our Entertaining your dog and Kong information sheets. Other recommendations-

  • Raise the subject of dogs with the owner/manager of the rental property, ideally in a face-to-face meeting.
  • Offer to draw up and sign a pet agreement/policy in conjunction with the owner/manager to clearly define behaviour appropriate to the property.

Have you rented with a dog or another pet? What was it like? Did you have any trouble? Tell us below.

Michael Beatty

A former reporter-writer and host for a number of BBC Radio programmes including Scene and Heard (A rock magazine programme on Radio 1), Jack de Manio Precisely (Radio 2), First Night and Top of the Pops (BBC World Service.). Artists interviewed included Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman. Also wrote a regular column for Record Mirror and was a regular contributor to Disc and New Musical Express. Michael came to Australia with the Elton John tour and returned a month later to work as reporter and producer for ABC radio. Michael has also reported for This Day Tonight and Today Tonight, was state executive producer for Good Morning Australia and State Affair and has been a senior reporter for the 7:30 report, among many other achievements. During his career Michael has been under fire on the Thai- Burmese border, stoned and knifed in London’s Brixton riots, had chalk shot from his mouth by bush legend Larry Delhunty and once was persuaded to sit on the back of a 3.6 metre crocodile with The Barefoot Bushman. Over the years he has written and produced corporate films and videos for a variety of clients that include the Queensland Government and numerous hotels and resorts. He left Today Tonight at the end of 2002 and freelanced in South East Asia and China before agreeing to help out the RSPCA for six weeks in 2004. He’s still there!

  1. No matter how well trained the dog is, if the body corporate by laws of the unit (let’s assume it’s strata) say no pets, then it’s no pets.

  2. Most pet owners are nice people – and very responsible. I can understand a property owner being hesitant, but we need more pet friendly rentals in this country.

    3 REPLY
    • No problems – best point is to ensure you exercise your dogs (and are seen to do so) everyday so they are quiet whilst you are away I reckon they got a better reference than I did and mine was fine 🙂

    • I agree Roseanne trouble is some ppl let their dogs ruin the back yard…let them p and poo inside and don’t really look after the property which is a shame because not all renters are dirty ppl.. years ago we rented a house for 11yrs and it was kept clean even though we had a dog… who never came inside..

  3. I allowed a ‘small’ dog in a 3 bed property i rented out – to find it was a German Shepherd! No, i didn’t kick it out – it’s well trained and doesn’t yap like some of those smaller varieties do.

    1 REPLY
    • I rented for a couple of years with a German shepherd. He was a inside/outside dog and had no problems at all. Big dogs don’t mean bad!!!

  4. It is so hard to get a place with no pets. I am one of the lucky ones. My young landlord agreed to small dog. I have a cavoodle. He loves her and is even landscaping the back yard so she won’t bring in so much mud in winter and I get new screens next week. One is the security door screen and he is having a doggy door put in. I lucked out with this young man… 🙂

    4 REPLY
  5. I rented my house to a ‘pet lover’, they lied. The house was wrecked and the yard was a total disgusting mess. I am renting at the moment, I no longer have the 3 monthly inspections, the owners say the gardens and lawns are in better condition than their own but I am not allowed to have an aged rescue German Shepherd. I used to breed, show and train them, never had a problem over many years of renting. Why can’t I have a dog – I’m confused by these owners.

    4 REPLY
  6. As an ex landlady I have found good and bad examples with pets at our properties. Invariably though it is the tenant who is the problem not the pet. The times the pet became a problem it never seemed to be the pet which was the only problem. We still have a rental property and the dog sent the rental agency her resume to tell us all about herself before she and her owner moved in. Often standard lease clauses don’t allow pets but if you ask the agency to approach the owner they may agree. I was a bit surprised when one of our tenants said we would not allow pets because that is not our view.

  7. I would only rent to pet owners, it shows they have compassion and have good hearts. A house isn’t a home without a pet.

    1 REPLY
  8. Owners of rental properties, in NSW at least, can have a pet clause added to the lease contract, making the tenant liable for all damage caused by pets. This is very common. The tenant would not get their bond refunded until repairs are satisfactorily completed.
    Just ask your property manager for advice

  9. “Crate training” Can anyone explain this to me? I have a crate that was given to me. My 2 little ones go in willingly and even with the door left open will stay in there when I tell them to. But frankly what is the point? There is a tray underneath but if I was to take out the mattress their little paws would go through the cage holes and they might hurt themselves so it’s useless for toilet training.

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