The search for the definition of “unreasonable” has prompted NSW Fair Trading, aka the department of Better Regulation, to extend the deadline for public responses to its review of strata laws.
The somewhat controversial survey on the Fair Trading website will now be open until April 7, specifically to allow comment on the changes to pet laws passed by parliament last week.
Part of that regulation change was a commitment to a new law that says strata schemes can’t unreasonably refuse pets in their buildings, and for the government to agree on what “reasonable” and “unreasonable” specifically are.
The survey on the “have your say” site has attracted some criticism from members of the public and other stakeholders who say it is too long, detailed and complicated.
Others say it makes invalid assumptions, such as that short-term lets are acceptable or accepted in most buildings, while not asking people how they think they could and should be restricted more.
Others say it can read like a form of push-polling, where an idea or opinion is seeded inside a question. This is not an example, but it’s akin to being asked what you like most about strata regulations – their flexibility or clarity – which assumes you like anything about them at all.
But the big news is that the deadline for the survey, flaws and all, has been extended by an additional month to get your thoughts on pets in strata.
“We will be extending consultation on the issue of pets specifically for an additional month (i.e April 7) to allow people to have their say following the agreement reached in parliament [last] week,” a spokesman told Flat Chat.
“Fair Trading will be notifying those who have already made submissions and our key stakeholders of the extension next week.
“We will also be publishing a new survey designed specifically to gather feedback on the matters prescribed in the new part 276A of the Act on the have your say site.”
And that’s where you should get your chance to say what’s reasonable or otherwise. For instance, is it reasonable for a block that’s never had pets and where the vast majority of residents don’t want them, to be forced to accept them even under restrictive conditions?
Is it unreasonable for a building to refuse pets because of bad behaviour of previous animal occupants of the block?
You may have an opinion on this or other issues entirely. And even if you have already completed the survey, you have an extra month to dip back in and make your feelings known.
You’ll find the survey and a link to where you can make a submission here. And if you can’t be bothered with all that, there’s a simple yes/no question about pets.