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Pets in a Strata Scheme

Once upon a time you would not have been allowed to keep your family pet in your home if your home was part of a strata scheme. New laws about keeping pets in a strata scheme started on 25th August 2021.

These laws recognise the changing nature of strata living and the increasing shift towards pet ownership as more people choose to live in strata schemes – such as apartments and townhouses.

Each strata scheme has its own by-laws, which are a set of rules that owners and tenants must follow. By-laws cover the behaviour of residents and the use of common property. There is a model set of by-laws set out in the strata legislation. Ideally, by-laws are there to ensure that people who live within a strata complex can live together harmoniously, with a clear set of rules about the matters that will impact them on a day-to-day basis.  But of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. The owners corporation sets the by-Laws, but there are restrictions on what they can put in place – for example, the by-laws cannot be harsh, unconscionable, or oppressive. 

Until recently, the issue about keeping family pets in a strata schemes has been a sticky one when buying into a strata titled property… and definitely one you’d ensure was allowed before buying your dream apartment, townhouse, or villa. After all, if you can’t take your furry family member to your new home, you might not want to move in at all.

Now that the strata legislation has been changed, an owners corporation cannot have a blanket ban on pets in a strata scheme.  The new regulations also describe the circumstances in which an owners corporation can refuse a lot owner from keeping an animal in a strata scheme, or take steps to remove an existing animal from the scheme, where the animal unreasonably interferes with another owners’ use and enjoyment of their property.  These circumstances include such things as repeated damage to the common property, menacing behaviour, persistent noise, and odour.  All of which most pet owners would agree are circumstances that impact too adversely on other people within a strata scheme.  The owners corporation can still require you to get approval for your pet, and set reasonable rules (such as requiring you to pick up after your furry friend and keep it under control in common property areas).

At last, pet owners can now be comforted with the knowledge that they will not face an owners corporation (perhaps comprising of people who do not like pets) to arbitrarily decide there are to be no pets in the strata scheme.  This is a win for our furry friends and their families.

Do you have a question about pets in a strata scheme?  Or are you looking at buying a strata titled property and would like comprehensive advice? Give our property and conveyancing team a call – 4967 2333 or make an appointment online.

Jillian Donovan
Author:
Jillian Donovan

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