This policy relates to the standard NSW Residential Tenancy Agreement, the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The purpose of this policy is to advise the obligations for keeping pets at Southern Cross Housing (SCH) managed properties and the process for approving pets.
- A dangerous or menacing animal, or restricted dog is as defined by the Companion Animals Act 1998, regardless of whether a declaration has been issued by Council.
- An Assistance Animal is described under Section 9(2) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as an animal required to alleviate the effect of physical or mental disability and trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place. In NSW, training organisations must be approved by Assistance Dogs International Inc.
This policy applies to all properties managed by SCH.
SCH discretion may be applied in all decisions under this policy. Tenants must declare any animals that will be kept at the property prior to signing a lease with SCH and must apply in writing to their local office for permission to keep a new pet. Tenants will be required to sign a Terms of Conditions for Permission to Allow Pets at the Property form, prior to SCH approving any pets.
Tenants will only be given permission to keep one dog or cat. Additional pets of a smaller size may be approved, at the discretion of SCH (eg, fish or birds). The property must first be assessed as being appropriate for the type of pet/s. Before approving a dog or cat, evidence will be required that the animal is registered with the local council. SCH will also take into account a tenant’s capacity to care for the pet and maintain their tenancy.
The tenant must also comply with Council requirements and the animal must not be dangerous, menacing or a restricted dog. Pets must be restrained during property inspections and maintenance works. Permission to keep a pet may be withdrawn if the animal bites or menaces a staff member or contractor.
Tenants must not mind pets for other people at SCH properties. Pets must be kept outside at all times, with the exception of fish, birds or Assistance Animals (see definition above). A pet must not cause a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours, including excessive noise. Whether the noise is reasonable will depend on the circumstances, including frequency and the time of day. Tenants will be asked to pay for any damage caused by pets and to arrange professional cleaning and pest control if it is considered necessary by SCH staff. If there is any breach of this policy, SCH will ask the tenant to remove the pet within 48 hours. Failure to remove it will be considered a breach of the tenancy agreement.
Housing Officers are responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and approving pets.