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Questionable EC acts about pets and bylaws
MattyB
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12/06/2012 - 2:23 pm
Member Since: 12/06/2012
Forum Posts: 2
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In a nutshell we are having an issue regarding pets in our Strata, and the EC.

Late last year, a couple of individuals allowed their dogs to run around unrestrained through common areas to the point where it has become a danger to our baby. The by-laws state that they are not allowed to do this (we have one of the model bylaws) and they have been told as such by the previous EC.

Roll forward to this year and these people have now been elected to the EC, and are letting their dogs run around again. Most other dog owners (a minority in the complex) have taken their lead and allow their dogs to run around unrestrained and it is now getting silly and dangerous for our child when walking through common areas. We've had dog’s poo and urine in stairwells and in common decked areas. We have also been subjected to harassment by one couple that has resulted in a Personal Violence Order against them by the police (due to threats against our baby and personal abuse being yelled out)

We are taking the EC to mediation to enforce the bylaws, but at the latest EC meeting these particular owners have now claimed that the bylaws when they bought were not those that are the current bylaws (supposedly through a 'contract variation', whatever that means).

The EC have now said they will seek ‘more appropriate’ by-laws (read as: to allow them to have unrestrained dogs) and it sounds like they will try to do it outside of an AGM/EGM. They have also said they will not attend mediation and the EC is refusing to issue notices to comply with the offending members of the EC (or anyone else).

We are engaging solicitors to fight this for us, have documented it from day one and are going to mediation (even if they don’t front), but my reading of the situation is: 

  • The claim the bylaws are wrong is flawed as the bylaws have to be registered to be valid (and the current registered by-law says they must restrain pets)
  • They cannot change any by-laws without an EGM/AGM.
  • If they don’t attend mediation and it is clear cut in terms of rules, we can immediately seek adjudication to force the EC to force compliance.
  • This adjudication is court enforceable (but I am not sure what the penalty is if they don’t enforce the rules)
  • Most important - they will never be allowed to allow dogs to run around unrestrained even if they attempt to codify that in by-laws (but I cannot find anything other than perhaps provisions in the NSW Strata act about safe and happy enjoyment or companion animals act)

We think they don’t have a leg to stand on (either 4 or 2 legged) and it amazes us that they want to take it as far as they are given their lack of grounds, but here we are.

 

Wouldn't mind people thoughts on the above - if it does go to court could we seek costs from the EC?

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