Pets have always been, and probably always will be a hot topic in body corporate schemes.
Some body corporate schemes adopted by-laws that state all animals are banned from the scheme, only to have lot owners challenging the validity of the by-laws down the track. So, what is a reasonable response to handling the issue of pets in body corporates?
By-laws that have a blanket ban on pets have been found to be unreasonable and contrary to Section 169 of the Body Corporate & Community Management Act.
Section 169 provides for by-laws to regulate the use and enjoyment of a lot, but does not authorise a by-law prohibiting such use and enjoyment.
Section 180 of the Act also advises that ‘a by-law must not be oppressive or unreasonable, having regard to the interests of all owners and occupiers of lots included in the scheme and the use of the common property for the scheme’.
Pet Approval Applications
However committees, on behalf of the Body Corporate, may consider pet approval applications on a case by case basis, deciding whether to approve a particular animal being brought onto the scheme.
On considering a pet application, the Committee may also impose reasonable conditions on the approval to reduce the risk of nuisance or interference of the animal on the peaceful enjoyment of other residents.
Some of the conditions that can be set when giving approval of a pet are:
- That the animal is kept within the Lot while present on the scheme land.
- That the animal is not permitted to roam on common property, or into other lots in the scheme.
- That the animal traverses common property only when it is being brought onto or taken off the scheme land, and that when doing so, the animal is carried or on a lead.
- That any waste or mess caused by the animal is effectively cleaned and disposed of.
- That any applicable local council regulations are complied with.
- That approval may be revoked if the animal causes any noise or disturbance to interfere with any person’s use or enjoyment of another lot or common property.
- That approval is given for the animal included in the application, and that no replacement or substituted animals are allowed, without written approval of the Body Corporate.
Breach of Conditions
Once approval has been given, should there been any breach of the conditions imposed on the approval, the Body Corporate can then revoke the approval and take steps to seek the removal of the animal in question.
For further information or if you have a problem with pets in body corporates, please call our office for a more detailed discussion.