Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world? According to the RSPCA, Australians own over 29 million pets nationally, with 61% of households being home to a furry companion. It comes as no surprise, then, that many residents in strata housing also wish to own a pet.
Legislative reforms around pet ownership
Traditionally, owners and residents of strata units have faced a range of restrictions when it comes to the by-laws regarding pet ownership. However, in 2016, new strata laws were introduced with the aim of making it easier for strata residents and renters to own pets. Since then, the NSW Department of Fair Trading has taken a friendlier view towards pets, and encouraged owners corporations and strata plants to allow pets. Under the new legislation, owners and occupiers have two options:
What do the by-laws say?
As per the above legislation, owners corporations now have a number of ways in which they can approach pet ownership. They can:
Moving forward, schemes will now be actively encouraged to review their by-laws and allow animal ownership in the building. Furthermore, it appears that tribunals are also learning towards pet ownership, as shown in the recent case of Roden v The Owners-Strata Plan in which the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found that by-laws entirely banning pet ownership were “harsh, unconscionable and oppressive”.
It is important to note that regardless of any by-laws, individuals who require a trained and certified assistance animal are allowed to own one. In addition to guide dogs for sight-impaired individuals, this can also include animals that offer support to those with other conditions including psychiatric disabilities.
Do you have questions about the by-laws concerning pet ownership on your strata property? Get in touch with our team today for more information on our range of strata services or explore our document bank for more information.