New laws allowing pets on strata properties: passed

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Herpetology

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new changes-

Pets​

The model by-laws provide owners corporations with options to control whether pets are allowed, and on what terms. For example, the owners corporation may choose to have a by-law which:

  • allows owners to keep a pet and simply provide 14 days notice from when the pet has started living on the lot owner's property, or
  • allows a pet with the written permission of the owners corporation and the owners corporation cannot unreasonably refuse permission. If they do refuse, they must give the owner written reasons outlining why the pet is not being permitted.
In all cases, the lot owner must still supervise their pet, clean any common property that is soiled, and ensure their pet is not noisy or negatively impacting on other residents. In rented strata properties, a tenant always needs to first obtain their landlord’s permission to keep a pet.


Changes to laws in relation to the keeping of animals​

The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Bill 2021 was assented to on 24 February 2021 and introduced changes relating to the keeping of animals on strata lots.

The changes, which will start later in 2021, mean that:

  • a by-law or an owners corporation decision under a by-law, that unreasonably prohibit the keeping of an animal on a lot has no force or effect.
  • it is reasonable to keep an animal on a lot unless the keeping of the animal unreasonably interferes with another resident’s use and enjoyment of their lot or the common property.
  • the Government can make regulations to specify when unreasonable interference could occur.
  • a by-law that prohibits the keeping of an animal is not harsh, unconscionable or oppressive if it reasonably prohibits the keeping of an animal.
  • an owners corporation is taken to have approved the keeping of an animal on a lot if it makes a decision under a by-law that unreasonably prohibits the keeping of the animal, or it fails to make a decision that is required before the animal can be kept within a reasonable time.
To support the implementation of these reforms, the Government is also required to more broadly review the rules around the keeping of pets under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and to table a report on the review in both houses of Parliament by August 2021.

The review must address certain matters, including the welfare of kept animals and how to limit the impacts of animals on common property.
 

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