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  • #55421

    A new tenant in our complex has moved into one of the single bedroom apartments and brought along 2 big dogs that are constantly barking when the tenant isn’t home.

    Is it going to be possible to have these dogs removed and if so what’s going to be the most efficient way to go about this?

    Below are some simple points regarding the situation.

    Tenant didn’t seek approval.

    Tenant has been advised the dogs are barking all the time but they just play it down and don’t really seem interested in addressing.

    The dogs are way too big for a 1 bedroom apartment. The apartment only has a small courtyard that’s a few metres square at best.

    Location is ACT.



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  • #55470
    Sir Humphrey

    Another rules angle might be to use the default rules on noise and nuisance. After all, the problem with the dog is not that it is an animal but that it is a source of noise. The executive committee (EC) might send a rule infringement notice if requested. They are more likely to agree to do so and later you might have more success at the Tribunal if you have kept a noise diary and have your noise complaint corroborated by other neighbours. You could alert the EC to s.107 of the Act: “If the unit owner does not occupy the unit, the owner is liable separately and together with an occupier of the unit for any breach of the rules of the owners corporation by the occupier, unless the owner proves that the owner took reasonable precautions and exercised appropriate care to prevent the breach.” so I suggest that a rule infringement notice should go to both tenant and owner with the bit above quoted by way of explanation, particularly to the owner, who might be more inclined to take action if they realise they could be held liable.


    One other thing, in the ACT, under the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act (Section 71AE) , the tenant has to apply to the landlord for permission to have an animal in the rented property if the strata scheme’s by-laws require that.  But the landlord may not deny permission unless they have first gone to the tribunal (ACAT) to seek its blessing.



    There’s a very simple truism about dogs barking when their owners aren’t there.  The owners can’t hear them and it’s not unusual for owners to choose not to believe that their dogs are barking.

    So record the noise, keep a diary of when it occurred and get another owner to corroborate.

    And check your by-laws (rules) to see what they say about permission for pets.

    Section 32 of theACT  Unit Titles (Management) Act says this:

        (1)     A unit owner or occupier of a unit may keep an animal, or allow an animal to be kept, within the unit or the common property—

    (a)     if the animal is an assistance animal; or

    (b)     if the animal is not an assistance animal, only if—

    (i)     if the rules of the owners corporation include a pet friendly rule—the animal is kept in accordance with the pet friendly rule; or

    (ii)     the owners corporation consents to the animal being kept.

    If the dog owner refuses to see reason and can’t or won’t do anything about the barking,  you can apply to the Owners Corporation under Section 111 of the Act for them to send a breach notice (Section 109) which, if ignored, could lead to a fine of up to $550.

    If the OC won’t get involved, have a look at this fact sheet about how barking dogs are dealt with in the ACT  which also has complaint forms attached.

    As for the size of the dogs, that’s barely relevant (unless they are scaring people, in lifts for instance).  The biggest dogs like Great Danes can be perfect apartment pets.


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