The model by-laws provide owners corporations with options to control whether pets are allowed, and on which terms. Owners can adopt a model by-law as their own or make their own by-law.
For example, the owners corporation may choose to have a by-law which:
- bans pets on the property altogether (other than assistance animals)
- 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
- allows a pet with the written permission of the owners corporation. This particular model by-law states that the owners corporation cannot unreasonably refuse the request. If they do refuse, they must give the owner written reasons outlining why the pet is not being permitted.
In all cases, if pets are allowed, 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.
Even if a strata scheme allows pets, a tenant always needs their landlord’s permission first.
Even if the strata scheme has a by-law that bans pets, assistance animals must be allowed.
The owner must, if required to do so by the owners corporation, provide evidence to it demonstrating that the animal is an assistance animal, as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 of the Commonwealth. Examples of evidence could include:
- accreditation from a recognised assistance animal training body, or
- a signed statement that the animal has been trained to assist a person with a disability and meet hygiene and behaviour standards for an animal in a public place.
A current or prospective resident can apply to the Tribunal if an owners corporation refuses to approve an assistance animal.
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