WE SAY: Landlords need to show heart on pet issue
OUR VIEW: WHAT an ultimatum: give up the family member you have raised and love dearly or lose your entitlement to your rental home.
Poor and elderly residents are being forced to make that choice in many cases under the National Rental Affordability Scheme as landlords increasingly decide not to allow pets in their properties.
Julie Penlington, from 4Paws Animal Rescue, is often on the receiving end of calls from desperate renters trying to find new homes for four-legged members of their household.
And their pleas and concern can be heart-wrenching.
You don't have to look far to find studies indicating the benefits of pets to the health and mental well-being of people of any age. But the elderly, especially, benefit from the companionship and unconditional love of their cats and dogs.
Landlords and property managers need to realise a happy tenant is a good tenant and that pets play a big part in creating happiness.
Maybe the National Rental Affordability Scheme authorities also need to create two lists of potential applicants - one for pet owners and one without pets - and offer incent-ives to allow these "extended families" to remain together.