Can A Landlord Say No to Pets?

Pets are a beloved part of many families in South Australia. However, when renting a property, pet ownership can become a complex issue. This article explores whether real estate can say no to pets, providing detailed insights and current information for South Australians.

Understanding the Legal Framework

The Residential Tenancies Act 1995

In South Australia, the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 governs rental agreements. This legislation outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including regulations around pet ownership.

Landlord’s Rights

Landlords can set conditions regarding pets in rental agreements. They have the right to prohibit pets, and this decision must be clearly stated in the lease agreement. However, tenants can request permission to keep a pet, even if the initial agreement prohibits it.

Tenant’s Rights

Requesting Permission for Pets

Tenants should request permission for pets in writing, detailing the pet’s breed, size, and behaviour. Providing references from previous landlords or even introducing the pet can help.

Reasons Landlords May Refuse Pets

Property Damage Concerns

Landlords often refuse pets due to potential property damage. Pets can cause wear and tear, and landlords may prefer to avoid these risks.

Allergies and Health Issues

Landlords may refuse pets due to personal allergies or concerns about future tenants with allergies.

Insurance Policies

Insurance policies may restrict pets or increase premiums for properties with pets, influencing landlords to refuse pets.

How to Improve Your Chances of Approval

Pet Resumes and References

Creating a pet resume with information about the pet’s behaviour, training, and health can be persuasive. References from previous landlords can also support the request.

Offering a Pet Bond

Tenants can offer a pet bond, an additional security deposit to cover potential pet-related damages. This demonstrates responsibility and willingness to mitigate risks.

The Role of Pet-Friendly Legislation

Recent Changes and Proposals

Recent discussions and proposals aim to make it easier for tenants with pets to find housing. These changes seek to balance landlords’ and tenants’ rights.


Understanding whether real estate can say no to pets in South Australia involves knowing the legal framework and practical considerations of landlords and tenants. Being informed and prepared can help tenants navigate the rental market and find pet-friendly homes. For more detailed guidance, refer to reputable sources and legal advice.

For more information, visit the SA.GOV.AU guide on pets in private rentals.


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