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  • #11563

    A member of the SC (12-lot complex in NSW) is trying to pass a by-law at the upcoming AGM (as part of the required by-law review) where no pet would be allowed and the SC could unreasonably refuse an owner the right to keep their pet.
    If the by-law passes, what can I do? Take this to NCAT? What’s the procedure?


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  • #29209

    A really good view of the no pets by-laws is given by a law firm specializing in Strata.

    1. By-laws must not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive. If they are, they may be ignored

    Section 139(1) provides:

    A by-law must not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.

    This is a new requirement. If a by-law is harsh, unconscionable or oppressive, then owners and occupiers may (depending upon its terms) be entitled to simply ignore it entirely, or at least ignore those parts that are harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.

    1. Absolute prohibition on pets

    A by-law prohibiting pets absolutely may be considered harsh, unconscionable or oppressive. For example:

    • If a lot is a townhouse with its own garden or courtyard, it may be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive, to prohibit that lot having a pet; and

    • It may be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive to prohibit a pet of any species if for example the specific breed proposed by a lot owner is known for being small, quiet and innactive, or possessing traits which mean that it is unlikely to impact on other owners or occupiers.
    • Changes to restrictions on pets – Do you know if that pet is an assistance animal?
    • Under the current legislation, by-laws restricting or regulating the keeping of pets are of no force or effect to the extent they prohibit or restrict the keeping on a lot of a dog used as guide or hearing dog by an owner or occupier of the lot or the use of a dog as a guide or hearing dog on a lot or common property.

      Under section 139(5) of the SSMA 2015, guide or hearing dog has been expanded to anassistance animal(as referred to in section 9 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)). This is a much wider category of animals and you may not know if a pet in your scheme is an assistance animal. Whilst section 9 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) contemplates some manners where an assistance animal can be certified, it can extend to (s. 9(2)(c)):

      a dog or other animal trained:

      • to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability; and

      • to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

      In this regard, there are currently no requirements for certification, or limiting who the training must be performed by, or even that the trainer be a professional trainer.


    could I just suggest we keep the existing by-laws (which require to ask for permission to keep an animal)? or do have to have new by-laws?

    Lady Penelope

    Yes. In my opinion all that is required is that your OC has reviewed the by-laws. If the existing by-laws are satisfactory and are not unreasonable then your OC does not need to change them. Have this review Minuted and all should be OK.

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