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Most animal by-laws in QLD are permissive by-laws and they allow the keeping of animals with prior approval, usually by the Committee.
If conditions for keeping the animal are not written in the by-law, the committee can impose conditions at their discretion when giving approval to keep an animal in a lot.
With a permissive by-law the Committee cannot unreasonably refuse a request by a person asking for an animal.
If the by-law is permissive and a Flying Minute has been send and not voted on in a timely manner then, if I was in your position, I would bring the animal onto the Lot. Part of my reason for doing so would be that the Committee must at all times act reasonably. An excessive delay is not reasonable, particularly if your pet is being housed elsewhere while the Committee are voting on the issue.
There are many other reasons for bringing your animal on to your Lot while the Committee are dragging their heels …… You could claim that you had no other option under the circumstances than to bring your animal onto your Lot as: (1) the animal was being unduly distressed by the excessive delay and/or (2) it was costing you a lot of money housing the animal at a kennel or a cattery over the peak holiday season, or (3) the person that you had temporarily housed your animal with can no longer look after the animal due to the extended delay in the Committee’s decision making…. etc.
If the Committee eventually votes No and you already have your animal on site then the Committee may decide to take the matter to the Tribunal – but, under the circumstances, they will probably lose.
I am assuming that your animal by-laws are permissive because had they been prohibitive you would not be applying to the Committee and obtaining approval via a VOC. Instead you would be seeking to re-write the animal by-law via a motion at a the next general meeting.
Thanks Lady Penelope – I appreciate your answer.
I should of mentioned that the purchase of the dog has not taken place. The Application was to seek permission to have a pet on my Lot first before I go ahead.
My animal by-laws are permissive and I’m the only owner-occupier in my complex. If the Flying Minute is not voted on should I go ahead with the purchase and complete another application? Can I ask for another Flying Minute to be issued? Or do I have to wait for the next General meeting?
My guess is if the Flying Minute is not voted on, then I should go ahead with the purchase of the dog anyway and the Committee can’t reasonably refuse my request as our bylaw is permissive and the previous vote wasn’t resolved. The issue I have is the bylaw says ‘without permission’. So, is it right for me to go ahead with the purchase knowing I don’t have permission but then again my request for a pet has not been resolved.
Thanks for the clarification… it does change things slightly if you have not already bought your pet.
If you have a Body Corporate Manager then perhaps you should contact the Manager and get him/her to chase up the other Committee member who has not yet responded. I am pretty sure the Committee member would be contactable by email and/or by phone. Their response must be in writing though.
Has the one person who has responded given their approval? If they have then you may be able to work through them to contact the other member and get their approval.
If only one person out of two responds (i.e. if one member refuses to respond) then the VOC is ‘lost’ (i.e. not Passed). You could advise the Manager and/or the Committee that the Committee cannot unreasonably refuse your application and that you will be seeking an Order from the Tribunal if they do not give you permission to keep a pet.
Having only 2 people on the Committee is not particularly workable. Are you able to and do you want to get yourself on to the Committee?
JT is correct. Only the Committee members get to vote on VOCs. The letters ‘VOC’ stand for Voting Outside of a Committee meeting. The non committee member votes are void and meaningless, just as they would be at any Committee meeting.
The legislation does not say how much notice must be given for the motion or when votes must be made. It is neither incorrect or correct to add a reply date.
If the deadline has been missed then you could contact the other member, make sure that they are on your side, and submit another VOC. Perhaps the other member was away on a break over Christmas and missed the deadline?
You are totally within your rights to chat to the other member about the votes. Committee members can contact one another before or during the vote.
It will cost a little more money with admin and postage etc to hold another VOC. The other owners may need to be reminded in the accompanying cover letter that they do not get to vote on this matter as this is a Committee member decision only, and that with a permissive by-law the Committee cannot unreasonably refuse a request by a person asking for an animal.
Thank you for your responses. The motion was passed and my pet application was approved, so am pretty happy. However the BCM advised the motion was ‘lost’ and I had to challenge it. It’s scary that the BCM does not know the legislation on Flying Minutes, I’d hate to think how many other Body Corporates have been advised incorrectly of results from votes.
Whilst it is good that your VOC was passed, surely this raises the recurring issue of Committee members with a personal interest in the outcome controlling the process to ensure it is successful?
Sometimes people forget that the processes they use to get what they want may one day be used against them.
Hypothetically, if you were against a resident having a pet would you be satisfied with a committee member using this same process to gain permission?
While the committee may not be required to consider objections from non-members the fact that there was opposition means that the matter may be raised again in the future. This may be problematic, especially if said pet ever misbehaves and the resident can demonstrate that they forewarned the committee of the potential for a serious issue to occur.
At the very least you may have upset residents who will wish to discuss the matter at a later meeting.
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