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Thread: Rental advice

  1. #1

    Default Rental advice

    I need some help. I've just moved into a new rental property. We want to eventually hopefully get a dog. However we are finding it increasingly difficult to get a landlord to agree to allowing us to have a dog. We tried to test the water in our new place. Sometime my sister needs someone to look after her Daxy while they are away for maybe a night or 2. We asked the agent to see if we could occasionally have a dog, 3 years old fully house trained for the odd night. They came back and said its ok but we need to sign an agreement additional to our tenancy agreement. It is worded as follows.

    The landlord agrees to the tennants having ONE DOG on the premises occasionally throughout the term of the tenancy provided that the premises are maintained as stated in the CONDITION REPORT.
    The tennants also agree to make good any damage caused by the animal, and for the carpet to be professionally steam cleaned and for all surfaces to be professionally fumigated upon vacating and de-fleasd upon vacating, with receipts provided to the agent. The tennants will ensure that all DOG excriments are removed regularly from the garden.

    I am happy with all of the above apart from the professionally fumigated part. Is this a standard requirement? I have known of landlord requesting that a flea bomb or similar be used. I've tried looking into professional fumigators and there aren't many and most that do are expensive.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    I've heard of this clause before but don't actually know of any tenant who did this. It really is rather over the top. Could you ask if a flea bomb would be a suitable alternative? When used as directed, they are probably as effective as fumigation.

    I did find this:
    "Do I have to have the premises professionally cleaned?
    Additional terms that require you to have the premises professionally cleaned or fumigated when you move out are usually illegal and invalid (section 19(2)(a)); but there is an exception where you have been permitted to keep an animal on the premises (section 19(3)).

    There is a question as to whether you can be required to have professional cleaning or fumigation done regardless of the actual state of the premises at the end of the tenancy (in other words, if you leave the premises spotless, are you liable to have them professionally cleaned anyway?). The additional term at clause 45 of the standard form of agreement is not clear in this regard; nor is section 19(3)."

    Which suggests it is not clear cut. Especially as that clause you quote doesn't mention that you should fumigate only when necessary.

    I suggest you contact the tenants advice service in your area. I have found them very helpful myself when I was renting. And you will realise that landlords and/or their agents often try to get away with stuff that simply isn't legal. Of course you have to find a balance between standing up for your rights and having a good relationship with your landlord, but if you know for example that telling them when you leave that you have flea bombed the place or that there was no need to because your pets were always flea treated is enough to meet your legal obligations, you should just do what you think is right.

    I grew up in Belgium where it is illegal for a landlord to even ask if you have pets. It's regarded as none of their business because any damage caused is covered under general tenancy laws.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I've gone back to the agent to get clarification. Apparently this clause is standard for dogs regardless if they are occasional or permanent. So I've asked if they will consider allowing a permanent pet. If they allow us to have a dog then we will sign, but if they only allow occasional visits we won't bother.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Perth
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    Hi Tiffin,

    When I used to rent years ago, it took me quite awhile to find a real estate agent willing to let me have a dog on the premises. In the end I paid a pet bond of $100. there were no extra stipulations so I was lucky. When I left, the place was as I found it so I got my pet bond back.

    Just one thing, have you considered what you would do, as the owner of a dog, if you have to move places and you couldn't find another real estate agent that would allow you to have a dog? The shelters and Gumtree adds are replete with dogs that were given up because the owners couldn't bring the dog with them to the next rental place. Just something to consider.

    good luck!

    cheers

    Adrian

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks Adrian

    That is a concern for us, however I envisage my current property to be my final rental. As it turns out the owner isn't willing to allow a permanent pet dog on the premises. So it looks as though we'll have to wait until we buy our own property.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Personally I think kids, teenagers and uni students do way more damage than a well behaved dog... sigh.

    And yet they're not banned from renting.

    A lot of people just don't ask for permission. The occasional dog stay over - the agent won't be able to tell. Any dog fur - you just say you hang out with dogs at work or at your friend's places.

    It's possible the owner or the agent have had some bad experiences. It is much easier to look after and own pets when you own your own place.

  7. #7

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    Totally agree Hyacinth. More fool me for being honest and upfront.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    tasmania
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    All the rental places i've been in have asked for the property to be professionally flea treated, inside and out upon vacating.

    I do remember when it was ok to get a couple of flea bombs and let them off and just provide receipts,but not any more.

    It's a shame you can't get a dog now. I honestly think if you're a clean and tidy person in general, then you will be with pets.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

  9. #9

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    That is the exact wording we had on the first lease we signed with a full time dog - but we had a clause which also said the dog was to remain outside at all times.

    We steam cleaned the carpets (pretty standard) and flea bombed - and provided receipts and the RE agents were happy enough with that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    Well obviously if the court won't uphold them, they're not valid legal contracts in the first place. Hardly the fault of the court, let alone the tenants.

    A standard lease contract already offers clauses about tenants paying for damage. I don't know why damage by pets would require a separate clause at all.

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