What are the rules about pets in strata apartments?
Explore the rules and navigate the requirements surrounding pets in strata
Bringing your furry friend home for the first time is a great experience. However, rules and regulations around keeping pets in strata properties can vary. That’s why obtaining formal permission and fully understanding your rights is essential before keeping any animal.
From state to state, pet rules vary across community-living properties like apartments and townhouses. In Victoria, for example, tenants have the right to keep a pet and cannot be denied a lease on these terms. Landlords can only refuse this by obtaining an order from the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). In New South Wales, the default is no longer to ban pets (as it was prior to a 2015 law change), but instead allow pets after you obtain written approval from the strata committee, which can’t be unreasonably refused.
However, this doesn’t consider the individual by-laws for each particular strata property. Even though the legislation allows you to have a dog, cat, or bunny in your strata property, that doesn’t mean you have the strata committee’s approval.
Even if your building is pet-friendly, before bringing a pet into your strata property, you’ll need to send a written request to the committee seeking permission.
The application could require information such as:
- A description of your pet, including their size, age, appearance and breed.
- Details of your pet’s disposition, for example, is your pet docile or friendly.
- Records of formal obedience or other behavioural training.
- Records to demonstrate that you are a responsible pet owner by having proof of registration, microchipping, de-sexing and all necessary vaccinations.
- Records of keeping your pet previously in strata or other residences, including references from your former landlords or neighbours that specifically mention the behaviour of your pet.
If you are in a rental property, under the current legislation, the property owner can exercise their discretion on whether or not a pet is permitted. When seeking approval for a pet, the property owner is responsible for submitting the pet application to the committee.
If you rely on a guide, hearing or assistance dog, it also pays to note your rights under the Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009. Anyone authorised to be on common property or a lot included in a community titles scheme has the right to be accompanied by their service dog regardless of any strata committee’s by-laws regarding pets.
To learn more about pets and strata, download our FREE strata and pets guide. For a consultation to review your by-laws by our Kemps Petersons Legal team, click here.