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New Legislation Alert: Pet Bonds in Rental Properties

16 April 2024

In a move that could change the landscape of rental agreements, the Government has announced its intention to introduce a "pet bond" under upcoming amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act.

The latest initiative aims to create a more pet-friendly rental market by giving landlords added security when renting to tenants with pets. Here's everything you need to know about the proposed changes.

What is a Pet Bond?

A pet bond is an additional security deposit that landlords will be able to request from tenants who have pets. This bond is specifically designed to cover any potential damage caused by pets (which is a common concern among property owners).

The proposed legislation will allow landlords to charge up to two weeks' rent as a pet bond, in addition to the standard rental bond already in place.

Currently, landlords are only allowed to collect bond of the equivalent of up to 4 weeks of rent

Liability for Pet Damage:

The new rules will make tenants fully liable for any damage caused by their pets beyond normal wear and tear. This includes accidental, careless, and intentional damage. This clear delineation of responsibility aims to ensure that properties are adequately maintained while also allowing tenants to enjoy the companionship of their pets.

Consent Required for Pets:

The new tenancy rules will require landlords to accept pets.

Tenants will still need to obtain consent from their landlord to have a pet in the rental property. Landlords can withhold consent on reasonable grounds, which may include factors like the property's suitability for pets, local by-laws, the behaviour of the pet, and whether the tenant has agreed to comply with specific conditions regarding pet ownership.

It is useful to note that although terms can apply, they may be subjective and difficult to implement. If tested, the Tenancy Tribunal may decide that the condition was not enforceable.

Timeline and Implementation:

The proposed changes are set to be included in a Residential Tenancy Act amendment bill, which is expected to be introduced in May. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will administer the tenancy bond system, including collecting, holding, and refunding pet bonds.

The introduction of a separate pet bond aims to provide landlords with greater financial protection, encouraging them to accept tenants with pets. Landlords must consider these upcoming regulations carefully and decide how to adjust their rental policies to accommodate pet owners while protecting their properties.

Streamline Your Property Management with myRent:

As the legislation evolves, so will our tools at myRent, the #1 software for self-managing landlords. We're committed to updating our forms and guidelines to align with the latest legal requirements, ensuring that you're always compliant with the law and providing you and your tenants with the assurance that the correct procedures are followed. With myRent, you always have access to tools, expert guidance, and top-notch educational content designed to make you a confident and professional landlord.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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What the community has to say
  • JT
    Julie-Anne & Ross

    Does anybody know how this will apply to complex's of townhouses and apartments with a no pet body corp rule?

  • KA

    Does this mean Landlords cannot put in a 'No Pets' clause while advertising or shortlisting? the two weeks bond suggested will not even cover cost of painting a 3mX3m section of wall forget repairs... !!

  • TH

    This legislation is a bit of a pony show for the current government! I’m annoyed!
    The reason I say this is because paying an additional two weeks bond for pet owners is actually unfair - most tenants struggle to pay the current 4 weeks bond - we don’t penalise tenants with children and I’ve seen first hand the damage kids do! (I have three small boys and a small dog and I know who is far more work to clean up after - just saying this is not fair.)
    Secondly it puts landlords in a no win position once again because some homes are simply not suitable for pets! Most townhouse complexes are simply not suited! - It’s cruel to keep a dog in an apartment all day with no lawn to speak of, pets can bark or whine for hours when a tenant goes to work and pets can become a real issue for neighbours! I’ve had wondering cats cause real problems with cat fight noise early hours and fleas!
    The problem is always the same it’s the few who ruin it for the many but the legislation should er on the side of caution and make it easier for landlords to say NO!
    This is a backtrack from the government I voted in!

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