Pets living in Strata Properties

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I want to bring a pet into my strata title property.

What should I do and what are my responsibilities?

The by-laws of each strata scheme usually contain provisions regarding the keeping of animals and can be obtained from the property strata manager.
In most cases, prior written approval of the owners corporation will be required before keeping any animal (other than fish in a secure aquarium) will be permitted. Prior written approval from the owners corporation is advisable even when by-laws are silent on the subject. A letter providing accurate descriptions of the animal, including its breed, size, age, appearance and temperament, should be provided together with details of any obedience training the pet has undergone, as well
as confirmation that the pet is registered, micro-chipped, de-sexed, vaccinated, and flea and worm treated. It is advisable that strata records are searched to determine whether there are any other lot owners or occupiers (past or present) who have kept pets in the property.

 

A response to a written request should be received from the owners corporation within a reasonable time. Once approval has been granted, a copy of the resolution passed in favour of keeping the pet should be obtained together with a letter from the owners corporation confirming the approval.

If approval is not given, and seemingly unreasonably withheld, the Strata Schemes Management Act1 sets out avenues of mediation, adjudication and appeal to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) so as to resolve the dispute.

 

What are the responsibilities of pet owners in strata properties?

Some strata schemes prohibit pets altogether. Pet owners or prospective owners must therefore, at first instance, find out whether they are permitted to keep pets at all, and if so, ensure they have correctly obtained such approval. However, strata schemes must ensure that assistance animals are permitted to be kept at all times.
Owners must ensure pets do not become a nuisance to other lot owners. If they do, any lot owner/occupier within the strata scheme can apply for an order to have the pet removed. Owners should ensure pets are:

  • adequately house trained,
  • socialised around other animals, and
  • restrained appropriately when on common property.

Some strata schemes even require pet owners to carry their pets while they are on common property.
Issues which must be immediately addressed include:

  • excessive barking,
  • defecating on common property, and
  • anti-social behaviour.
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