All of a sudden we're a 'pet friendly' building. | By-laws and outlaws | Flat Chat ForumA A A
Just in case no one got Blue Swimmer's irony (I think it was irony), there are legal requirements to obey by-laws (whether or not you have read them).
44 Who is required to comply with the by-laws?
(1) The by-laws for a strata scheme bind the owners corporation and the owners and any mortgagee or covenant chargee in possession (whether in person or not), or lessee or occupier, of a lot to the same extent as if the by-laws:
(a) had been signed and sealed by the owners corporation and each owner and each such mortgagee, covenant chargee, lessee and occupier, and
(b) contained mutual covenants to observe and perform all the provisions of the by-laws.
(2) There is an implied covenant by the lessee in a lease of a lot or common property to comply with the by-laws for the strata scheme.
(3) In this section, lessee means, in relation to a lot in a strata leasehold scheme, a sublessee of the lot.
Regarding distribution, the Owners Corp has to distribute the minutes of its meetings which would, of course, contain notices of any by-laws that had been adopted or changed. A diligent EC would make sure this happened at the first opportunity (rather than waiting a year until they have to be included for approval at the next AGM).
The Owners Corp has to keep a record of general meetings which must then be available to owners on request.
Tenants have to be given copies of the by-laws within seven days of taking up the lease or within seven days of any amendments to by-laws being registered. This clause is unusual in that it actually carries penalties for non-compliance. It also doesn't apply if the lessee (tenant) is also an owner.
46 How does a lessee get information about the by-laws?
(1) If a lot or common property in a freehold strata scheme is leased, the lessor must provide the lessee with a copy of the by-laws, and any strata management statement affecting the lot or common property, within the time and in the manner required by this section.
Maximum penalty: 1 penalty unit.
(2) If a lot or common property in a leasehold strata scheme is sublet, the sublessor must provide the sublessee with a copy of the by-laws, and any strata management statement affecting the lot or common property, within the time and in the manner required by this section.
Maximum penalty: 1 penalty unit.
(3) The copy of the by-laws or strata management statement must be provided to the lessee or sublessee within 7 days after the lessee or sublessee becomes entitled to possession of the lot or common property.
(3A) If a lot or common property in a freehold scheme is leased and the by-laws are amended, the lessor must provide the lessee with a further copy of the by-laws, within the time and in the manner required by this section.
Maximum penalty: 1 penalty unit.
(3B) If a lot or common property in a leasehold strata scheme is sublet and the by-laws are amended, the sublessor must provide the sublessee with a further copy of the by-laws, within the time and in the manner required by this section.
Maximum penalty: 1 penalty unit.
(3C) Any further copy of by-laws required to be provided under subsection (3A) or (3B) must be provided to the lessee or sublessee within 7 days after the amendment of the by-laws is recorded by the Registrar-General under section 48 (1) (b).
(4) The copy of the by-laws or strata management statement (including any further copy of by-laws that have been amended) must be:
(a) served personally on the lessee or sublessee, or
(b) if the lease or sublease relates to a lot—served on the lessee or sublessee in any manner allowed by this Act for service of a document on the occupier of a lot, or
(c) if the lease or sublease relates to a lot or common property that is fully enclosed by walls or other structures—left in a conspicuous position at the lot or on the common property.
(5) Subsections (1), (2), (3A) and (3B) do not apply if the strata scheme concerned is part of a community scheme or the lessee or sublessee is the owner of a lot in the strata scheme concerned.
Well said mattb. There's no law that says residents need to know about and follow by-laws. And no law that says executive committees need to let residents know about by-laws and nor do strata managers. I agree with you, I couldn't see what the Swede was on about either. And real estate agents can always be trusted to do the right thing, everyone knows that. mattb you've really cleared things up for That Crazy Swede!
That Crazy Swede said
…Mattb, I hope your struggle to pinpoint the issue can be over now. Thank you other helpful posters. I now know what needs to be done.
It appears that your issue is with the other owners, although you have managed to call your EC and SM 'slack' and you have called the real estate agent a 'fool' even though each of these groups appears to have acted completely within the law. Hence my struggle to pinpoint your concern.
That aside, as I said in my earlier post, I assume that you have received the minutes after the AGM which listed that the bylaws had been passed. And additionally (as I said earlier) given you are a smallish scheme, it would be easiest to go and speak with the EC to have the new bylaws put up on the notice board.
Lastly, as there are two owners whom you suspect have not sought the necessary permission to keep pets within your new by-law, the common process is to put the complaint in wrting to your SM who will then take the necessary steps with the EC in issuing the notice to comply and or giving retrospective permission.
…waiting till the next AGM before you issue the minutes of the previous one is ridiculous but, sadly, commonplace…
i'm surprised by that comment. In the ACT the Act requires general meeting minutes to be issued within 7 days. This is important because there is a provision to overturn decisions of 'reduced quorum' meetings within 28 days if more than 50% of owners petition to do so. IE a protection exists to reverse a poor decision of a poorly attended general meeting.
I guess yours is a pet-friendly building … just not a pet free-for-all building.
The simplest way to fix this is to write to your strata manager asking him or her to place a motion on the agenda of the next Executive Committee meeting asking the EC to inform all owners that there are new by-laws in place and what they are, with specific reference to the new pet by-law. This will accelerate the notification process (waiting till the next AGM before you issue the minutes of the previous one is ridiculous but, sadly, commonplace).
In any case, but especially with all these by-law changes having been made, any diligent executive committee would be issuing a “welcome pack” to new tenants and owners, pointing out that there are by-laws and what they need to do to observe them.
This can also cover other common complaints like parking, laundry and noise and can be presented in a way that is informative rather than threatening.
In answer to your questions, mattb, I did attend the AGM and I voted in favour of the pets by-law. As I said, I am generally in favour of pets in apartments (within reason, obviously). And before that, I had received the agenda with proposed new by-laws and received the minutes. Everything happened as it should.
The problem here is, as scotlandx has correctly gathered from my post, while the meeting where the pets by-law was passed was way back in May, with the new by-law registered shortly thereafter, the Executive Committee and Strata Manager have not circulated, published or posted the new by-laws. Nobody realizes permission has to be sought in writing, the EC has to reply with approval or otherwise in writing.
Meanwhile one apartment has a new owner and one real estate agent has recently re-leased two apartments here and all the new residents households have pets, yet none have applied for, nor been granted, permission, because some fool has just labelled us as a 'pet friendly block'. In actual fact, the new by-law also has quite a few other important provisions relating to the pets behaviour and their owners too.
Mattb, I hope your struggle to pinpoint the issue can be over now. Thank you other helpful posters. I now know what needs to be done.
It should not be an opera in regards to your pet bylaws. I think when you register your plan you have a few options, clearly you are changing yours.
Any change in bylaw should be sent to Owners and perhaps posted on notice board?
What is the problem with the infiltration of pets? Noise? Smell? Are they on CP?
We in our plan have chosen the option of pets with permission which i think is now the option in your plan? New residents must put in writing request for permisssion to keep pet, desciption of pet. The OC then give permission so long as the pet is kept within the lot and when on CP is either carried or on a leash.
If the animal causes problems there are the noise etc bylaws to have the animal removed etc.
We recently gave approval for a dog that barked night and day, We submitted objection the owner eventually used a shock collar to keep the dog quiet and on premise.
In your case these animals are not approved? Call your Strata Manager or EC Secretary and follow up especially if these animals are causing you grief? Get the details of owners and pets.
If not, good to know who has pets to remove in case of fire!
I think the Crazy Swede's concern is that people have been told the building is pet friendly, and they have assumed they can have a pet without first seeking permission. In the case of a by- law like that the resident is in breach because they don't have permission. It puts the OC in a difficult position. In some cases they might want to refuse permission, on reasonable grounds, say if someone wanted to keep 3 pit bulls.
The strata manager should have circulated the by-laws after they were registered and set out the processes that apply clearly. Otherwise there is no point in having the by-law.
The EC should require anyone who has a pet to apply for permission, and if they don't, issue a notice to comply. Going forward send out a notice to all owners and residents telling them what the by-law requires.
By the way I have a dog. We did refuse permission to one potential tenant who had two very noisy dogs.
A couple of things seem a little inconsistent, so if you can humour me for clarification….
* Did you attend the AGM (in person) and vote in favour of the by-law?
* If not, did you simply allow the chair (or similar) your vote by proxy?
* Did you receive the minutes of the agenda prior to the AGM (this would have listed the proposed bylaws)?
* Did you receive the minutes after the AGM stating that the motion had been adopted?
While it would be nice & proper that the new bylaws be displayed on the notice board, a simple chat with one of the EC members could fix that (you say it is a smallish scheme after all).
It certainly doesn't sound like your EC or SM are slack if they are actively trying to improve the place; if owners are apathetic and don't bother to read, that certainly isn't the fault of your EC.
Also, if you are not on the EC, how do you know that the pets (which you say have since proliferated) don't actually have permission to be there?
I am struggling to pinpoint the issue. You say that pets aren't the issue, so is it the legal cost incurred to make the bylaws or is it that the bylaws aren't on display or is it the bylaw itself, or is it the way the pets are behaving on common property?
Back in May my building voted in a whole new set of by-laws written by a lawyer at great expense. They have apparently been registered but not circulated in any way at all; not up on the notice board either.
One of the new by-laws says pets are OK so long as permission is sought and granted in writing. This is fine by me, I am in favour of pets in apartments, but we have a problem.
All of a sudden there has been a proliferation of pets without permission being sought or granted because agents are being told by I know not who, we are a 'pet friendly building'. (We're about half and half owners and tenants in a block of 40.) Also most owners are apathetic and don't read agendas, minutes, by-laws and, as I said, the by-laws aren't known because of slack Executive Committee and Strata Manager.
Any advice please to set things straight?
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