Can my pet come too? Share your experiences of living with pets in rental accommodation

Emma Power

Researchers at the University of Western Sydney are looking for 1,000 Sydney pet-owners who have rented in the past 10 years to participate in a world-first survey of rental housing and pet ownership.

Dr Emma Power, from the UWS School of Social Sciences and Psychology, says the issue of finding a pet-friendly rental property is one that is faced by many Sydneysiders.

“From ABS data, we know that one-third of all Australian households living in rental accommodation. This figure increases to 49% for lower income households,” says Dr Power.

“With almost three quarters of tenants likely to relocate within a five year period, the issue of finding a home that will accept pets is likely to be encountered on an ongoing basis.”

Dr Power says international research has shown that moving house is one of the most significant influences on people’s decision to relinquish a pet.

“Pets provide a range of benefits to individuals and the community and we know that relinquishing a pet is not a decision owners make easily. Owners typically try a number of methods of finding pet-friendly rental accommodation and only resort to relinquishment when they have no other options,” she says.

“I am hopeful that this research will create greater understanding of the perspectives of both property owners and tenants and provide information that can create positive outcomes for the welfare of people and companion animals.”

The UWS study will explore the impacts that restrictions on pet-keeping in rental and strata properties have on the individual and the community, and will include real estate agents involved in tenancy management and people renting privately with pets.

Residents of the Greater Sydney area who currently rent or have rented and own a pet are invited to complete the online survey.

The research is being conducted under the University of Western Sydney’s Partnership Grants Scheme between UWS and the Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS).