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Pets and strata management

The following is an overview of the basics of pets and strata management.

The laws and around keeping animals in strata schemes are often disputed, which normally involves the owners corporation’s refusal to allow animals, however allowing pets is not clearly prohibited in the by-laws of the strata scheme that is in question.

If the owners corporation does not want to allow pets they need to pass a by-law that prohibits all pets and animals.

There are laws to protect people that require companion animals, such as guide dogs. Generally, all such animals are allowed by law. Each state can differ.puppy-guide-dogsin-training

If the by-law prohibits pets, applicants can seek permission in writing, although the owner’s corporation has the right to unreasonably refuse if the pet is not a companion animal.

In NSW the following laws are applied in the Strata Titles Act:

“NSW strata by-laws are subject to section 49(4) of the Strata Titles Act which states that by-laws cannot prohibit or prevent the keeping or use of a guide or hearing dog on a lot or common property.”

NSW strata communities are governed by the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996. The Act includes a model by-law regarding the keeping of animals as follows:

“Schedule 1 – By-laws 16 Keeping of animals (1) Subject to section 49 (4), an owner or occupier of a lot must not, without the approval in writing of the owner’s corporation, keep any animal on the lot or the common property. (2) The owners corporation must not unreasonably withhold its approval of the keeping of an animal on a lot or the common property.”