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Renting with pets can be tough

THROW US A BONE: Pets can be a major hurdle in securing a rental property.
THROW US A BONE: Pets can be a major hurdle in securing a rental property. stonena7

THERE is growing momentum behind a move to make renting more pet-friendly.

Australia has for years possessed one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, but recently this has seen a significant drop, with the finger being pointed at unfriendly strata policies for the decline.

A shortage in pet-friendly housing is seeing pet owners forced to surrender their animals, with euthenaisa as a possible consquence, accordin to the Australian Veterinary Association.

The AVA said 30 per cent of dogs and cats are surrendered by owners who can't find rental accommodation that is suitable for their pets, and research by the Australian Companion Animals Council shows pet owners are likely to pay up to 14 per cent more rent so they can live with their pets, netting their landlords more than $3,000 extra per year.

Ace Body Corporate Management is calling on lawmakers in New South Wales to ensure that new strata property laws make apartment buildings more pet-friendly.

Ace State Manager Andrew Jakes said owners in New South Wales have a right to laws which make it easier to live their desired lifestyle.

"Over 7 million Australians now live in strata title properties and it is time owners in New South Wales were governed by laws which keep pace with their lifestyle," Mr Jakes said.

"The key thing to understand is that apartments are no longer an investor's paradise, and with more and more families and owner-occupiers living in apartments, the demand for pets has skyrocketed."

Mr Jakes says all the research points to pets being a huge psychological benefit for owners, and that is an improvement lawmakers cannot deny thousands of owners in New South Wales. And new information suggests pet friendly apartment buildings have better property values.

Once thought a nuisance, body corporate leaders say the benefit of pets is becoming clear to communities, and they need to be governed by flexible, common sense laws.

"Blanket pet bans in apartment buildings are an unfortunate fact of life for many pet-loving apartment owners in New South Wales, and it's something we're hoping to see change very soon," Mr Jakes said.



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