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Forum: ‘No-pets’ by-laws dead so bans are bogus

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While some strata schemes struggle to deal with the fact that their “no pets” by-laws have been rendered obsolete by the recent NSW Court  of Appeal ruling, others seem to have decided to pretend it never happened.

Our Flatchatter Stringer was hoping that the ruling by the Court of Appeal that the no-pets by-law in the Horizon building in Sydneys’ Darlinghurst was “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive” and therefore defunct, meant she could finally get the small dog she had been hoping for.

But her strata committee and strata managers refused the request, saying that the Horizon ruling applied only to that specific case and, since they had no by-law allowing pets, they were not in a position to allow one.

Very cute, but that isn’t going to wash.

The Court of Appeal is the highest court in NSW and its rulings create a precedent for every lower court in the state – all the way down to NCAT.

So, if they pinged Stringer for having a pet, she could go to NCAT and say that the Court of Appeals says ‘No-pets’ by-laws are in breach of the strata Act, so what do you think?

And unless the Member was publicity-hungry and in search of a form of career suicide, they would agree.

Also as far as “we don’t have a by-law allowing pets” goes, well maybe not.  But you also don’t have a legitimate by-law banning them so what’s to stop anyone bringing any animal into the block.

The smarter strata blocks that have found themselves suddenly stripped of their pet-banning powers, have quickly moved to introduce pets by-laws that comply with strata laws, but control the animals when they are on common property.

The smarty-pants in Stringer’s block could find themselves caught with their pants down if owners take advantage of their blinkered approach and lack of any effective rules.

As for Stringer, she wants to know if she has to challenge the strata ruling at Fair Trading and NCAT, delaying her dream of bringing home a little dog.  We think not and explain why HERE.

Elsewhere in the Forum

  • Should we convert to strata title to make managing our company title block easier?  That’s HERE.
  • A special levy is likely to be set during the period between sale and settlement of an apartment purchase.  Should the new owner get a vote? And who pays the levy, the buyer or the seller?  That’s HERE.
  • Can someone please tell what common areas are? And is the inside of a window common property or lot property?  That’s HERE.
  • I’m thinking of buying a unit but I’d want to install a sunshade.  What are the chances of the strata committee preventing me?  That’s HERE.
  • Can a committee in Queensland install speed bumps without full Body Corporate approval? Ah well, it depends. On what? Look HERE.
  • A leak from common property water tanks floode part of my unit.  Then the plumbers cut holes in my walls  and ceiling to fix it.  Now I’m hearing nothing about repairs.  What should I expect and what can I do?  That’s HERE.

As ever, there are updates and new inputs to existing threads, and new questions and comments every day.  To keep up to date, register and you won’t miss a thing.

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