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New Zealand Rental Laws for Pets: What You Need to Know

New Zealand rental laws for pets shape how landlords and tenants interact regarding pet ownership in rental properties. With about 64% of New Zealand households owning pets, these laws are essential for creating fair rental experiences.

Pet rental policies in NZ can vary greatly between landlords, but understanding tenancy agreements and pets will help prevent misunderstandings. Whether it’s pet-friendly or enforces a strict no-pet policy, this guide will help you understand your rights and obligations.

Why Rental Laws Matter

Rental laws ensure a balance between landlords and tenants regarding pets. Landlords can safeguard their property, while tenants can keep their furry friends without unnecessary disputes. Understanding these laws is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and foster positive rental relationships.

Tenancy agreements and pets are often a source of disputes, but clear clauses can prevent issues related to rental property damage pets may cause.

Landlord Rights Regarding Pets

Setting Rules in the Tenancy Agreement

Landlords in New Zealand can set specific rules about pets in their tenancy agreements. They can:

  • Allow or prohibit pets entirely.
  • Permit certain types of pets but not others.
  • Limit the number or size of pets.
  • Specify conditions for keeping pets.

Landlord pet policies vary, but landlords should clearly outline their rules to tenants.

Refusing Pets

A landlord can refuse to allow pets if it’s stipulated in the tenancy agreement. They are not obliged to provide a reason if the agreement explicitly prohibits pets.

Property Protection

Landlords are concerned about potential property damage due to pets. They may include clauses in the tenancy agreement requiring tenants to cover costs if their pet causes any damage.

  • Rental property cleanliness pets: Tenants must maintain cleanliness to avoid unnecessary cleaning costs.
  • Rental pet deposits NZ: Although separate pet deposits aren’t mandatory, landlords may negotiate extra bonds for pets.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Requesting Permission

Tenants must seek permission before bringing a pet into the rental property. Even if pets are not explicitly prohibited, it’s good practice to inform the landlord to avoid potential conflicts.

Adhering to the Agreement

Tenants must follow the pet-related clauses in the tenancy agreement. Failure to do so may lead to penalties or termination of the tenancy.

Property Maintenance

Tenants must ensure that their pets do not cause damage to the property. They are responsible for:

  • Cleaning up after their pets.
  • Repairing any damage caused by their pets.
  • Preventing pets from becoming a nuisance to neighbors.

Tenant obligations pet care ensure pets do not disrupt the peace or damage property.

Pet Clauses in Rental Agreements

Common Clauses

Some common pet clauses in rental agreements include:

  1. No-pet Clauses in Tenancies: Prohibits pets entirely.
  2. Specific Pet Approval: Allows only specified pets (e.g., one cat or dog).
  3. Pet Bond: Requires tenants to pay an extra bond for pets.
  4. Inspection Clause: Grants the landlord the right to inspect for pet damage.

Enforcing Clauses

Landlords must enforce pet clauses fairly and reasonably. Tenants should clearly understand their obligations and the consequences of non-compliance.

How to Get Approval for Your Pet

Steps to Take

  1. Read the Tenancy Agreement: Check if pets are allowed.
  2. Negotiate with the Landlord: If unclear, request permission in writing.
  3. Provide Pet References: Offer references from previous landlords or neighbors.
  4. Offer Extra Bond: Suggest paying an additional bond to cover potential damages.
  5. Sign a Pet Agreement: Outline your pet responsibilities in a separate document.

Making Your Pet More Attractive

  • Ensure your pet is well-trained.
  • Keep your pet’s health records up to date.
  • Ensure your pet is desexed and microchipped if applicable.

What Happens When Tenants Breach Pet Clauses

Consequences of Breach

  1. Warning or Notice: The landlord may issue a warning or notice.
  2. Penalty or Repair Costs: The tenant might be fined or required to pay for damages.
  3. Termination of Tenancy: For severe breaches, the tenancy may be terminated.

Disputes Tribunal

Disputes related to pet clauses can be resolved through the Tenancy Tribunal NZ. Both landlords and tenants can seek resolution here.

Impact of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 brought significant changes to rental laws in New Zealand, including:

  • Fairer Tenancy Termination: Protects tenants from arbitrary eviction.
  • Minor Changes by Tenants: Allows tenants to make minor changes with permission, which may include pet accommodations.
  • Prohibition on Blanket Ban: Blanket bans on pets may be challenged if not reasonably justified.

This Act also strengthened service animals rental laws by preventing landlords from denying accommodations to assistance animals in rentals.

Tips for Tenants Renting with Pets

Finding Pet-Friendly Rentals

  • Use Keywords: Search for rentals using terms like “pet-friendly.”
  • Look for Specific Listings: Seek landlords who openly allow pets.
  • Work with Agencies: Use rental agencies that specialize in pet-friendly properties.

Keeping Your Pet Welcome

  • Train your pet to minimize damage or nuisance.
  • Regularly groom your pet to reduce shedding.
  • Maintain cleanliness and repair any pet-related damages promptly.

Building a Good Relationship with Your Landlord

  • Communicate openly about your pet.
  • Keep your pet under control.
  • Be willing to negotiate extra bonds or pet fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Landlords Ban Pets in Rental Properties?

Yes, landlords can ban pets in rental properties if it’s clearly stated in the tenancy agreement.

What Happens if a Tenant Brings in a Pet Without Permission?

If a tenant brings a pet into the property without permission, they may be breaching the tenancy agreement, leading to penalties or eviction.

Can a Tenant Be Evicted for Breaching a Pet Clause?

Yes, a tenant can be evicted for breaching a pet clause, especially if the breach is severe or if the tenant repeatedly ignores warnings.

What Rights Do Tenants Have if a Landlord Refuses Pets?

If a landlord unreasonably refuses pets, the tenant can appeal to the Tenancy Tribunal. However, tenants must ensure that their tenancy agreement allows for such challenges.

Is There a Pet Bond in New Zealand?

New Zealand law currently doesn’t specify a separate pet bond. However, landlords may negotiate additional bonds to cover pet-related damages.

What Is the Role of Animal Welfare Organizations in NZ Regarding Pets in Rentals?

Animal welfare organizations in NZ often advocate for fair pet policies and educate tenants on responsible pet ownership.


Navigating New Zealand’s rental laws for pets is crucial for both landlords and tenants. Understanding these laws helps build positive relationships and ensures that pets can be a part of a happy home without causing undue stress or conflict. Whether you’re a landlord setting rules or a tenant seeking pet-friendly accommodation, clear communication and adhering to the tenancy agreement are key.

Tenant-landlord disputes pets often stem from a lack of communication or understanding. Therefore, working together to establish fair rental agreements with pets will ensure a smoother renting experience for everyone.

Renting rules for pets are in place to protect both parties, but cooperation is key for the best results. Proper property inspections pets and fair rental pet deposits NZ ensure peace of mind for landlords while giving tenants the chance to care for their beloved pets without stress.

Asif Malik
Asif Malik
I'm a senior editor at Business wire weekly, covering all topic like business news and technology. I also co-author the Current on differnt websites and edit the Buesiness Wire weekly-Dollar Startups list.


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