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  • #12149
    Avatardjbelle
    Flatchatter

    Hi, 

    I have a 5yr old doggy best friend and bought my apartment in inner city Sydney because its by-law states that:

    Keeping of a cat, small dog, caged bird or fish without approval, but must notify the Owners Corporation. All other pets require approval first. 

    I just received the agenda for our AGM and there is a proposal for Amendment to Pets Bylaw:

    a. Pursuant to Section 141 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) to make changes to By Law 16 – Keeping of Animals in the following terms (one option to be selected):

    Option 1:

    1. an owner or occupier of a lot must not, without the prior written approval of the owners corporation, keep any animal (except fish kept in a secure aquarium on the lot) on the lot or the common property. The owners corporation must not unreasonably withhold its approval of the keeping of an animal on a lot or the common property. 

    Option 2:

    2. An owner or occupier of a lot must not keep any animal on the lot or the common property. 

    There is a small note that all current approved pets in the complex will remain approved but no new animals will be approved (if option 2 is chosen).

     

    My Questions Are:

    1. How do I go about voting down this change? I know I need to write to other residents and gain proxies but I have never done this before and I would like some tips for dos and don’ts.
    2. What would be the best strategy to convince people at the AGM that changing the by law is unnecessary? I love that we are a pet friendly building. 3 out of 6 apartments on my floor alone has pets. 

    Side note: This amendment has arisen from ONE particular committee member. I know this because she is my downstairs neighbour and we have many unpleasant exchanges regarding my dog and general noisiness…I’m a school teacher in my late 30s. I can promise you I am not noisy. She has left me abusive notes and text messages and has great sway with the strata company. I have, in turn reported her harassment over the years to the police. She moved out recently and her last act was to call the City of Sydney Council Ranger to my place. Upon speaking to me and my next door neighbours, the ranger assured me that she has no case (not to mention that she has moved out). 

    So it is hard for me not to take this personally. But I want to go about voting down the motion the right way, I have no desire to get personal at the meeting, merely stating the facts. 

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Dog Lover 

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #48732
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The original post is more than a year old – surely the issue would have been resolved by now

    #48706
    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Above advice is good but I suggest you do some door knocking too. Often owners are unaware of brewing issues and you could bring it to their attention. Talk about it in a moderate reasonable manner and canvas opinion. You might quickly find that there is either very little mood for change or there is a groundswell of anti-pet opinion. Try to avoid personal comment no matter how much you feel it is one person having a go at you. You might find others volunteer that your downstairs neighbour has had a go at them too and then you are starting to build a group of allies.

    If you find that many people would be happy with status quo. If so, you could go to the committee and tell them the results of your straw poll. It might be enough to make them back off. If you have numbers at your finger tips and people now know you, you already have some power.

    #48692
    AvatarThe Hood
    Flatchatter

    During the strata reform period back in 2014 the NSW Parliament released various draft papers on the reforms.
    In the draft model by-laws there were originally 3 options for pets.
    Option 2 of your AGM motion was option 3 in the original draft model by-laws for new strata schemes.
    When the legislation was passed option 3 from the draft had been removed.
    The Parliament no longer considered a prohibition on pets to be appropriate.

    Your SP might pass option 2 on your agenda but if it does then it is a NCAT matter waiting to happen and your owners corporation would not fair well if the by-law is challenged.

    In recent times there has been a number of cases Yardy, McCormick, Roden  and more recently Cooper which all point to a by-law such as option 2 being contrary to the Act, i.e. section 139
    139   Restrictions on by-laws

    (1) By-law cannot be unjust A by-law must not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.

    And a by-law such as option 2 has already been viewed as invalid in a number of cases.

    First thing I would recommend is ask the motion be amended to remove option 2 as it is contrary to the Act (s 139). Cite the above cases as evidence that such an option has already been viewed on a number of occasions, by NCAT, as invalid.

    If that fails then request the Chair exercise his/her discretion under cl 19 of Sch 1 of the SSM Act and rule the motion out of order:

    19   Chairperson may rule certain motions out of order

    The chairperson at a meeting may rule a motion out of order if—

    (a)  the chairperson considers that the motion, if carried, would conflict with this Act or the by-laws of the strata scheme or would otherwise be unlawful or unenforceable, or

    If that fails and option 2 passes then make immediate application for mediation (free) on the basis the resolution is contrary to the Act and the Chair failed to properly exercise his/her discretion.

    If that does not resolve the matter then it gets messy as you may need to go to NCAT to get the resolution invalidated.
    You should not need to vote down a motion that is about acting contrary to the Act.

     

    #35471
    AvatarFlame Tree
    Flatchatter

    🙂

    #35467
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Please send picture of the “big dog who likes to read and watch TV”.

    #35456
    AvatarFlame Tree
    Flatchatter

    This reads as though you/owners are voting to keep things as they are now, or alternately choose to change it for new arrivals. You should be fine and it would be a big call to ask current owners to remove their current pets to where? (some will be registered with the OC but as always many wont be, as is always the case). You might like to help win your preference by discussing this with other owners directly in a friendly way, esp other pet owners or those who wont care either way so may just as easily fall your way. Also, you might like to ensure to yourself your pet doesn’t make noise as plenty do but the owner isn’t there to hear it, or is, and thinks it wouldn’t be an issue to others when it can be. Finally, it’s not the size of the animal – a small yapper can make a lot more noise than a big dog who likes to quietly read and watch tv.

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