What is the issue? 

One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in WA was an increasingly tighter and more expensive rental market.

Perth’s vacancy rate fell to its lowest in 42 years in December 2022, plummeting to just 0.6%. The story is similar across the state.

Currently, WA landlords can simply say no if a prospective tenant wishes to keep a pet, regardless of the type of property or the type of animal, and the renter has no recourse.

RSPCA WA has urged the responsible Ministers for the Housing and the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 to follow the lead of other states and territories by introducing legislation that requires landlords to provide a good reason to refuse a renter’s request to keep a pet.

This is a much more sensible approach where the landlord and tenant can have a mature conversation about whether it is reasonable for the proposed pet to live in a particular dwelling.

What’s being done about it?

In 2022, Western Australia’s leading animal rescue organisations joined forces to call on the State Government to strengthen WA’s rental laws as current ‘no ground’ evictions and banned pets resulted in large numbers of animals being surrendered.

RSPCA WA, Cat Haven and the Dogs’ Refuge Home called on the Premier to reform the WA Residential Tenancies Act to allow pets to live in rental homes. The groups also called for the removal of ‘no ground’ evictions so existing tenants have the confidence to ask landlords if they can keep a pet in their home.

Submissions to a review of the Residential Tenancies Act closed in June 2020. You can read more here.