It’s now easier for Victorians to co-habit with furry housemates, thanks to new rental laws that make it more difficult for landlords to say no to pets.

While renters still need to ask permission to live with an animal, landlords will now need an official order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to refuse the request.

The change is part of a spate of rental reforms by the Andrews government, which passed through state parliament in September 2018 and will come into effect by the middle of this year.

“Pets are part of what makes a house feel like a home for many Victorians,” Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz said in a statement.

“With more people renting now than ever before, it’s time to make this basic right accessible to all animal-lovers across the state.”

Renters simply need to fill out a consent form via the Consumer Affairs Victoria website to be signed off by their landlord.

If the landlord refuses, they’ll need to prove to a tribunal that the property is not suitable for the pet, that the pet violates council rules, or that the pet poses a threat to neighbours or other residents.

More than 130 new laws designed to bolster renters’ rights and make landlords’ obligations clearer will come into effect by July 1, 2020.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 also outlaws rental bidding, limits rental increases to once a year, caps bond at four weeks’ rent and requires landlords to ensure rental properties meet basic safety and security standards.

You can find a breakdown of the changes here.