Will It Harm Your Chances on a Rental Application if You Advise That You Are Planning to Get a Dog?


I'm looking at getting a dog in the next 2 months. I am also currently applying for rental properties.

Do you think putting you have a pet on your application really negativity affects your chances? Should I wait to get approved then ask the landlord? I know Victoria recently brought new rules regarding allowing pets in rental properties.



  • +7

    Get your rental property first (one that says pets on application) then apply to be allowed to have a dog. If the owner doesn't have a really good reason to not let you have one (allergies, house not set up for it eg small apartment) then you should be allowed to have one. Having a pet on your application will negatively affect your chances. Owners don't have to give a reason they aren't choosing you.

  • +7

    IMO it's a Catch-22.

    • Put your intent for a dog on your application: less likely to get your rental.
    • Don't put your intent for a dog on your application: less likely to get your dog.

    Which one is more important to you?

    • +2

      The second statement is not correct, at least not in Victoria where the landlord can't say no to the tenant who wants to have a dog.

      Obviously, the landlord can choose not to renew the contract later.

      • +1

        Seriously? In Qld, the landlord specifies what pets are allowed. For me, it's none.

    • +4

      In Victoria the latter is now clearly the better option as the landlord has only two weeks to respond to a written request and raise an objection with VCAT. If they fail to respond the pet is allowed by default. VCAT will judge whether the landord's objection is reasonable an it has permitted only one objection in the first 12 months of the new laws.

      Since then [March 2020], the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has received 340 applications relating to pets.
      "Of these, 139 applications have been finalised, most of which have been withdrawn or finalised for various reasons,” said a VCAT spokesperson.
      “Only 18 have proceeded to final determination – and with one determination in favour of the landlord.”

      Few landlords succeed in pet challenges under Victorian rental laws, NSW laws still lag behind

      • So I'm technically correct (the best kind of correct).

        If they don't say up front that they're intending on having a dog, the likelihood of them getting a dog is slightly lower, but only 1 in 340 at worst…? (those stats you quoted, the withdrawn applications could have been a "no dog" result…?)

        • +1

          Nah, I don't think those statistics support that conclusion.

          The salient point is that takes negligible effort for a landlord to silently discriminate against a rental application that mentions a pet and they don't need to state a reason. Lodging an objection with VCAT is the responsibility of the landlord and they have to state their grounds for refusal which are scrutinised by VCAT. This takes real effort on the part of the landlord and based on my knowledge of human nature many landlords simply wont bother to object.

          VCAT doesn't have statistics for applications where the landlord doesn't lodge an objection, but it would dwarf the 340 applications that they received given the size of the rental market in Victoria.

  • +5

    Its illegal to discriminate against renters with kids but landlords do it anyway.

    • +2

      In what way do landlords discriminate against kids?

      I'm not being sarcastic, this is a genuine question because I don't know.

      • +8

        If one application is a fastidious couple, and the other has boisterous 6yr Olds, most landlords will choose the people without kids.

        • +3

          Question 17: Do you have kids? If no, proceed to Question 19.
          Question 18: On a scale of 1-10 how boisterous is/are your 6yo child/ren?
          Question 19: On a scale of 1-10 how fastidious are you?
          Question 25: Are you planning to not mention your intentions for pets, and then further down the track apply for pet considerations?

          • @blorx: we need you to design rental agreements

      • +3

        Same as other comment.

        "Having a pet on your application will negatively affect your chances. Owners don't have to give a reason they aren't choosing you."

        Swap pet with kid.

  • Yes it could impact your chances.

    Landlords are not allowed to refuse pets without a good reason in Victoria, however, when applying for a rental they are allowed to choose whichever applicant they want. If there are several applicants then they may be more likely to choose a tenant who doesn't have a pet or express a desire to get one in the future.

    • Most places that allow pets are also a bit more expensive. So use this to your advantage, keep quiet now and apply for a pet in a few months.

  • +1

    Yeah I wouldn't mention it, just get the dog after the fact.

  • +4

    Been looking at houses to buy recently, 2 houses had mad damage to the sliding doors where the dogs had eaten/hacked/damaged the frame of the sliding doors.

    If I had a rental, yes it would affect your no fawkin chance.

    • +1

      …yes it would affect your no fawkin pharkurn chance.

      Fixed it for you!

  • +1

    Yes, and there is no reason for you to mention that if you are in Victoria.

    You get the house and after a few weeks you tell the landlord that you will get a dog.

    • As a landlord i'd think its great - you still need to repair any damages.. and because its harder to find a property as a tenant with a dog, you can assume they'll stay longer in the home (and hopefully look after the house).

      • +2

        As a landlord i'd think its great -



        until you see the damages

        • I think children are much more likely to cause damages than dogs, and the tenant is responsible for any damage anyway.

          • @this is us: I find children's damage easier to fix (some filler and paint, etc).

            We looked at a house (to buy) on the weekend and the hot water system and air-conditioning pipes insulation were all chewed up.

            Source: have three kids of my own

            • +1

              @coxjon: Again, irresponsible dog owners or parents are responsible for the damage, including chewed pipes if that's the case.

              • @this is us: Yeah agreed. If its tenant (or their dependents) caused damage - it has to be fixed by them anyway.

                In my properties I've never seen issues that can't be easily resolved at tenants cost (touch wood), and most definitely confirm tenants with dogs have longer tenure than those without (they also negotiate rent less too). Given they remain in the property longer, the frequency of resolving issues as a LL is also much less!

                As a dog owner myself, the worst I've experienced is carpet stains (easily removed) and holes in the yard (easily filled).

                Of course there are irresponsible dog owners out there, heck I've seen some very irresponsible couples without kids/pets leave houses in far worse condition than a dog would ever cause.

                Just my 2c anyway

          • @this is us: The tenant might be responsible but good luck getting anything further than their bond

          • +1

            @this is us: There are some people who allow animals to stink a house so much, I think burning it to the ground wouldn't fix it.

            I'll never allow pets in my rental property

  • of course.

  • Be open with the agent and say you will likely get a dog in the near future.

  • 100% get the rental then bring in the dog.

    You gain nothing by being upfront with them, at all. In exchange, you get the potential of covert discrimination, it won't be for the dog it'll be for income or references or anything else generic.

    By being secretive, you miss any discrimination because of the dog, and they can't tell you not to get a dog later on. Just make sure to apply for it with the official form before getting a dog.

  • It will make a difference but if you have already moved it then the landlord can reject your request, what will you do?

    I would say it upfront, for house it should be fine apartments may be not.

  • +2

    As a member of my complex strata committee, I would suggest u look thoroughly at the unit complex strata rules, coz on my complex we had somebody buy a unit, and then applied to have a dog on premise, we rejected it due to the fact the nose travels thru the whole complex. The tenants were forced to resell unit, as strata changed our rules to specifically state no dogs. "Pet -friendly" complex could mean they allow cats and rabbit type pets. And it's not necessarily up to the landlord if they're ok with having a dog in the unit, it's a strata ruling.

  • Duh!! 🤷‍♂️

  • I’m in Vic, if I rent my place out and the yard is not fenced then do I need to install a fence to allow a person to have a dog? I have brand new timber boards inside and I wouldn’t want a pet scratching those. That’s $20k worth of new flooring in addition to $10k brand new carpet. Anybody know?

  • why would you mention something that you’re only planning on doing? You tell them things on a need to know basis. They don’t need to know this. What happens if you stumble on a breed you suddenly have your heart set on, find a breeder and make the purchase but then find out you need to wait 6 months?

  • Do the landlord a favour, burn the house to the ground when you and your dog leave.

  • -2

    legends!! thanks for the encouragement, I had a feeling this was the "right" way to do it! Just ticked the no box.

  • Let me tell you a story.

    There was a couple who moved in to a house with their golden. This golden is a friendly dog according to the owner. Within the first month of their stay the golden had destroyed the aircon compressor radiator fins(this unit was on the ground), made a hole in two wooden doosr(so it can get in/out) and ruined the floorboards because of unkept nails. It was an expensive fix because the aircon was old(no parts) so a new unit was purchased. Two new door with pet door installed. Floorboards left as is until they move out… Tenant paid for the damage done, everyone is cool again.

  • Yes.

  • No… and may prove to be an asset as the real estate can not discriminate against you.
    If you do not get the property, simply cry discrimination and they will surely find another for you