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Open door policy on pets

09 Nov 2017

Open door policy on pets Image

By Shantelle-Ann Marquis

The recent tenancy reforms mean that people will be allowed to rent homes and apartments with their pets.

Landlords will no longer be able to unreasonably refuse tenants request to keep pets. Tenants, however, may be required to undertake cleaning, fumigation and fixing any damage caused by their pets. 

Prior to this reform, many people were refused rental proprieties and were forced abandon their pets to keep their leases. 

Dulcie Lee is a 25-year-old international student from China and the proud owner of three Persian cats. When Dulcie moved into her Southbank apartment, she brought along her cats but it wasn’t long until she learned that she wasn’t allowed to keep any pets. 

Dulcie’s landlord was infuriated when he discovered the cat’s fur and demanded that she clean the apartment thoroughly.The landlord also explained that there was a sentence in the contract that outlined there were no pets allowed. But for Dulcie, it was not very clear and she did not understand. 

“Cleaning my apartment and paying the cleaner was not a problem for me. I was happy to pay for a cleaner. But they threatened me for breaching my contract and forced me to move out immediately or get rid of my cats,” Dulcie said. 

Dulcie did not move from her apartment until the end of her lease which lasted a further two months. This was because she struggled to find another apartment in the city that would allow her to keep pets.

During this period, she had no choice but to ask her friends to care for her cats until she found a permanent solution. 

“I decided to send two of my cats back to China with my parents. It was really expensive because of all the tests, quarantine and flights. It was also a burden for my parents but at least now I can see my cats on video chat and know they are taken care of.” 

Dulcie found it very difficult to part with her eldest cat and refused to send her back to China. 

She said she was very happy that the laws against keeping pets in apartments were changing.

“This is so good. Not allowing people to keep pets in an apartment is unfair. Pets are like family. How can you just give them up like that?”

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