Your dog, cat or other animal is permitted in your strata property in NSW
Your dog, cat or other animal is normally permitted in your strata property and building in NSW.
You may be required to obtain consent of your owners corporation to keeping your animal, but generally the grounds on which consent may be refused and the conditions that may be imposed on pet ownership are limited.
The new laws generally recognise the changing nature of strata living and the increasing shift towards permitting responsible pet ownership in all strata buildings.
Your animal must not unreasonably interfere with another occupant’s use and enjoyment
Consent to your animal may be refused or conditions imposed, if your animal unreasonably interferes with another occupant’s use and enjoyment.
Your animal must not be a nuisance or hazard
Consent to your animal may be refused or conditions imposed, if your animal will be a nuisance or hazard under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW).
Anything that otherwise says you cannot keep your pet is probably unenforceable
Most prohibitions in by‑laws and similar decisions of your owners corporation are likely to be unenforceable, including those that provide that:
- you must not keep a pet;
- you may keep a dog or a cat but no other animal;
- your dog may only be of a particular breed;
- your dog must be only of small or medium size and must not be a “large dog” weighing 30 kilograms or more.
Although consent to your animal may be required, it normally cannot be refused
Although your building may require you to obtain consent to your animal, that consent normally cannot be refused.
As a condition of consent, your building may request information about your animal including details of the animal (name, type, breed, age, photographed) as well as vaccination records and microchip number.
Your building may still enforce by-laws about responsible pet ownership
An owners corporation can impose reasonable conditions to prevent animals from causing an unreasonable interference in your building.
For example, requirements that your animal must be on a leash in common areas (including lifts) and that you must clean up after your animal’s waste.
What constitutes “unreasonable interference”?
You may be refused or lose your animal for the reason that it causes an “unreasonable interference” if:
- it makes a noise that persistently occurs to the degree that the noise unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of another resident;
- it repeatedly runs at or chases or attacks another resident or animal;
- it repeatedly causes damage to the common property or another lot;
- it endangers the health of another resident through infection or infestation;
- it causes a persistent offensive odour that penetrates another lot or the common property.
Breaches of the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW)
Your animal may also cause an unreasonable interference if, under the Companion Animals Act:
- for your dog or cat, you fail to comply with a nuisance order; or
- your dog is a restricted dog or declared to be dangerous or menacing.
Removal of your animal
You may be required to remove your animal if your animal:
- unreasonably interferes with another occupant’s use and enjoyment; or
- is restricted, dangerous or menacing under the Companion Animals Act.
Your building cannot prohibit you keeping an assistance animal.
However, you can be asked to provide evidence of your animal’s status, including accreditation, permits and signed statements relating to appropriate training.
You should not be asked to provide your own medical records.
Landlords and tenants
The above changes do not effect the rights of landlords and tenants under a lease.
If your tenancy documents prohibit you from keeping pets, then you must comply with that requirement (i.e. You must not keep a pet even if your building permits pets).
You cannot be required to pay an additional deposit or bond in relation to your pet.