FURRY FRIENDS: For Stephen Hodgson and wife Holly, moving without Archie and foster Zeus is not an option.
FURRY FRIENDS: For Stephen Hodgson and wife Holly, moving without Archie and foster Zeus is not an option. Paxton Roth

Renters want more pet-friendly options

WHEN Stephen and Holly Hodgson moved out of their last rental property in March, they didn't expect to still be looking for a new home four months later.

With a clean rental history and a steady income, the couple can only assume their "large” furry friends are turning landlords away.

In fact, they were pre-approved for a property to move straight into but when the property manager found out the breed of their half-German shepherd Archie just two days out from their moving date, the application was rejected.

"I think we've been turned down for at least 30 houses since; it's almost getting to the point where you have to lie about him.”

Holly volunteers at an animal shelter and said the issue was widespread.

"A good quarter of our surrenders are because the real estates have turned around and told them the animals have to go - usually for no reason, they haven't done anything wrong it's just a technicality.”

Stephen said it was frustrating that there was discrimination against larger dogs.

"What's the difference between a small dog and a big dog? They can still do the same damage in a yard,” he said.

The couple say they'd be happy to pay an additional pet bond, have extra inspections and allow landlords to meet their furry friends if that would help them get into a property.

Morayfield-based landlord Andrew said pet owners tend to be more conscientious about looking after the property.

"Generally we've been lucky with one or two minor exceptions; all the tenants with pets have been our best tenants,” he said.

"We take tenants based upon the tenants not their pets - if they're a good tenant, they're a good tenant.”

Ace Body Corporate Management are urging lawmakers in Queensland to ensure new strata property laws make apartment buildings more pet-friendly too.

State manager Georgia Cook said Queenslanders have a right to laws which make it easier to live their desired lifestyle.

"All the advice from health experts indicates that pets lower stress and help ease depression and anxiety,” she said.

"Research also shows that having a pet in your home means children are less likely to catch colds, need antibiotics or develop asthma.”

Residential Tenancies Authorities said they don't provide advice on pet inclusion in a rental property.

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 stipulates the tenant is responsible for any damage, including that caused by a pet.


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