Site logo

Decisions of Interest: Enforceability of ‘No Pet’ Clauses

Are ‘No Pet’ Clauses enforceable? This week’s Decision of Interest considers this question in the context of a tenant having a right to quiet enjoyment at the property verses a landlord’s potential concern around damage and wear and tear.

Plus, why may landlords be only able to decline pets in limited circumstances from next year?

Case Background:

The landlord filed a complaint against the tenant for breaching the tenancy agreement by keeping a dog, despite the breach persisting for over two years. Subsequently, the landlord served a 14-day notice to address the issue and then made it part of an application to the Tenancy Tribunal,

Legal Authorities:

Although ‘No Pet’ clauses have long been viewed to be enforceable, the Tenancy Tribunal in this decision looked at whether landlords had the contractual freedom to impose restrictions on the tenant such as ‘No Pet’ clauses. Specifically, it highlighted Section 38 of the RTA, which outlines the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment and having full benefit of the premises.

The adjudicator said:

“Arguably, the ability to have a pet is part and parcel of a tenant’s right to have the ‘full benefit’ of occupying the premises. Given the close personal relationship many people have with their pets, it is also arguable that a blanket prohibition could breach their right to ‘reasonable … comfort’.”

If this is to be accepted, the Tribunal then must decide, under Section 11 (1) (b) of the RTA, whether no pet clauses should be enforceable.


The Tribunal says in each cases the balance is between the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment and reasonable comfort, against the risk of damage or excessive wear and tear to the rental property.

When a landlord attempts to enforce a ‘No Pets’ clause through application for termination, this order suggests the Tenancy Tribunal should consider the following points:

So what are those points? What was the outcome? And why may landlords be only able to decline pets in limited circumstances from next year?

Recent News

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Are you a private landlord and would like access to the best property managers in your area?

Complete the form below to get access.

See our privacy policy here.