Flat Chat Forum From the Front Page Current Page

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #52537
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    It was a decision that doubtless had the denizens of luxury Sydney apartment block Horizon spluttering into their sundowner G&Ts on Monday afternoon … and then checking their bank accounts. Much to everyone’s surprise, the NSW Appeals Court – the state’s highest judicial body – has ruled that strata by-laws which ban pets are “harsh, discriminatory and …
    https://www.flat-chat.com.au/pet-by-laws-banned/

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #52642
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    …it seems you are intent on trying to paint me in a different light than who I am and I am all too familiar with this.

    I just disagree with you on one point.  That doesn’t make me “wrong”, as you said originally, and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to paint you in any light. It is what it is.

    #52634
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    I have a sister who has severe asthma since childhood and a friends mother who has been in hospital many times from asthma attacks and not because she was in a strata scheme. I know all too well the reality of asthma/allergies and I am sticking to the facts. I will leave the conversation here as it seems you are intent on trying to paint me in a different light than who I am and I am all too familiar with this.

    #52633
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    Comparing a place of work to people’s homes is a bit strange, people with allergies still go out to Markets, cafe’s and the like where pets aren’t banned.

    Pets are banned in cafes, for health reasons. And comparing encounters with animals in enclosed spaces like lifts, lift lobbies and foyers with passing animals in markets isn’t “a bit strange”?

    If you have allergies to the degree that some are claiming one vs dozen would not make a difference…

    Statistically, I would think the likelihood of an encounter with a dog in a block with 12 animals animals in it, rather that only one, would be 12 times higher.

    I would also think that there was likely to be roughly 12 times as much dander floating around in the lifts and common property areas. I’m not saying that’s a critical factor – it’s just common sense that shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

    By the way, you seem to be coming pretty close to suggesting that people are faking or exaggerating their allergies. Is that what you think or am I just misreading the tone of your posts?

    Meanwhile, to inject a few facts into the discussion, here’s what the Government’s HealthDirect website says about pet allergies,which, according to it, affect one in five people.

    Allergies to cats and dogs are common, and symptoms range from mild to severe. These symptoms can include hay fever, asthma and hives. While avoiding exposure is the simplest solution, treatment can help you manage your contact with pets.

    Ok, there have been no deaths in Victoria from pet allergies. But how severe does a reaction have to be before you look at the cause, if it happens to be, say, an accidental encounter with a pet?

    I’ve never suffered from asthma but I have friends and relatives who do and I have to say, it can be frightening and physically distressing for the sufferer, and it’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

    #52618
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    I have received over 1500 emails, committees thriving on compromise is the message I’m getting and definitely not the one I have personally experienced.

    #52619
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    <p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif;”>The point that seems to be overlooked, is strata legislation/law has been in contravention of property laws/rights for a long time. The Court of Appeal have reminded them that this is not within their powers to do. </span></p>
    <p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif;”>Comparing a place of work to people’s homes is a bit strange, people with allergies still go out to Markets, cafe’s and the like where pets aren’t banned. If you have allergies to the degree that some are claiming one vs dozen would not make a difference, the reality is passing a pet and having a pet next door is not going to be an issue and if it is, then I doubt living in an apartment would be the best choice, given all the hidden cats in non-pet friendly buildings. You also can’t stop people who work with pets and have pet dander on them walking past you.</span></p>
    <p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif;”>Victoria has no model by-law regarding pets and no cases of allergy deaths, I’m not sure why NSW seems to be clinging onto an extremely outdated model or thinking.</span></p>

    #52611
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    As mentioned multiple times previously, no such place as long as assistant/therapy pets are allowed.

    We have about a dozen pet dogs in our building and no assistance animals (that I have seen).  It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Communities thrive on compromise.

    #52608
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    As mentioned multiple times previously, no such place as long as assistant/therapy pets are allowed.

    #52609
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    She made enquiries and could not find ANY cases where people died or were seriously taken down by a pet allergy.

    What about this girl who couldn’t get help for her dog-triggered asthma attack in time? However, I assume Ms Cooper was talking about finding no cases in strata, and I don’t doubt it.

    If people have serious allergies that could have potentially life-threatening consequences, wouldn’t they live in pet-free buildings or a house?

    By the way, one assistance animal is very different from a dozen dogs (which is about the number in my block) passing through common property and travelling in lifts.

    She went on to say that people present with many allergies – nuts, dust, pollen, household chemicals. If by laws were to be equitable then all potential allergens should be banned from strata “in case” someone shows an allergic reaction.

    The decision in MS Cooper’s case wasn’t about allergies. It was about a point of law that says you can’t have by-laws based on what MIGHT happen because of what an owner is doing in the privacy of their own home.

    However, there are many offices that ban flowers, perfumes and peanuts (from their kitchens) because staff members are allergic.

    I am pro-pet, but I think we will see changes in strata law in its next iteration, otherwise NCAT will be swamped with case-by-case challenges to by-laws that may or may not be valid (and I’m not talking about pets as that ship has sailed).

    But strata laws will have to be fixed if we want people (like me) who love pets to be able to have them in their homes, and those who can’t be near animals, for either medical or religious reasons, or just personal choice, to be able to find strata communities where they can live happily without bothering anyone else.

    #52607
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    I have done the research and encourage you to do the same in finding someone who has suffered life-threatening reaction due to a pet next door?

    Well, that would be a waste of time and energy, wouldn’t it? Could it be that people with serious, potentially life threatening allergies probably choose to live in  pet-free buildings so as to avoid animals?

     

     

     

     

     

    #52597
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    You can split hairs if you like, it doesn’t change the fact that therapy/assistant animals are not allergen free which was my point. As long as they are allowed in any building, there was never a guarantee that a scheme would be pet free, even the smaller ones you mention.

    I have done the research and encourage you to do the same in finding someone who has suffered life-threatening reaction due to a pet next door? With this ‘logic’, flowers, dust, perfume, peanuts should be banned, the allergy argument is flawed.

    It is a concern that anyone thinks they should have the right to dictate what one does in their own home, thankfully the Court of Appeal Judges found what I have always argued, strata legislation should not override property legislation which gives us the right to the enjoyment of our homes as long as we respect and do not infringe on our neighbours. A strata home is still a home and these excuses really need to cease.

    #52574
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    I don’t have any issue with Jo Cooper.  But if we are saying there’s no place anywhere in strata for people who can’t or don’t want to live in proximity to animals, then things have seriously skewed out of kilter.

    Some people have bought apartments all over Sydney in the firm belief that there would be no animals allowed in the blocks apart from registered assistance animals.  Who is going to the barricades for them?

    For the record, I bought into my current block on the belief I would be allowed to keep my cats and we sacked the committee, the strata manager and the building manager when they tried to change the rules on us.

    Since then, we campaigned long and hard to make this a pet-friendly building which is great- I love meeting other owners’ dogs.

    But I would have been just as active if I had bought into the building, having chosen it because I believed it would be pet-free and needed or wanted it to stay that way.

    It seems we are now saying that people who don’t want to live near animals can’t live in apartments.  That’s a sad day if that’s the case.

    But the problem isn’t pet owners or anti-pet residents.  It’s a one-size-fits-all law.  Maybe the government should allow buildings that have never had pets to designate themselves as such and let that be an end to the arguments for those blocks and let the rest of us get on with our happy, pet-enhanced lives.

     

    #52565
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    Jimmy

    well worth while to listen to the whole of Amanda’s Friday afternoon chat.

    Jo Cooper presented as a very coherent person, not as I previously envisioned her.

    She made enquiries and could not find ANY cases where people died or were seriously taken down by a pet allergy.

    She went on to say that people present with many allergies – nuts, dust, pollen, household chemicals. If by laws were to be equitable then all potential allergens should be banned from strata “in case” someone shows an allergic reaction. Clearly that by law is never going to happen.

    I doubt that this will go to further appeal. The reasoning of the judge was enlightening, basically saying that bylaws can regulate the common property but not the owners lot.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 21 hours ago by .
    #52563
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    There was and never will be schemes that are pet free, this notion is truly wrong, as long as therapy/assistant pets are legal in all homes that means there is never a guarantee that a block will be free of pets.

    If we are going to split hairs, assistance animals are not pets.  Also, there are plenty of apartment blocks that are genuinely “pet-free”, generally speaking they are small (so animals are tracked down easily) and often they are company title and are therefore not bound by strata law.

    There are also, I know, buildings that claim to be pet-free but where pets are kept secretly (often by committee and board members).

    To clarify, 70% of Horizon owners have never voting in regards to the Pet by-law.

    Well, that’s strata for you.  But the 30 percent who did vote mostly voted against pets, as far as I’m told. The rest presumably didn’t care enough to register their view, which adds strength to your argument, but I’m sure if they were in favour of pets but couldn’t be bothered to vote, they may be regretting it now, as their legal bills add up

    Personally, I don’t think large buildings like the Horizon should have no-pets by-laws.  But I wonder what will happen to any animal that triggers a life-threatening allergic reaction in any resident who bought into the building believing they’d be able to avoid animals.

    Strata law (not by-laws) is pretty clear on that.  Humans come first.

    158   Order for removal of an animal permitted under by-laws

    (1)  The Tribunal may, on application by an interested person, make an order against a person who is keeping an animal on a lot or common property in accordance with the by-laws for a strata scheme, if the Tribunal considers that the animal causes a nuisance or hazard to the owner or occupier of another lot or unreasonably interferes with the use or enjoyment of another lot or of the common property.

    (2)  The Tribunal may order that the person—

    (a)  cause the animal to be removed from the parcel within a specified time, and be kept away from the parcel, or

    (b)  within a time specified in the order, take such action as, in the opinion of the Tribunal, will terminate the nuisance or hazard or unreasonable interference.

    Let’s hope for everyone’s sake, human and animal, it never comes to that.

    #52561
    AvatarJo Cooper
    Flatchatter

    In response to some of your comments Jimmy:

    “We are pro-pets in apartment blocks but we also believe there should places where people can find apartments where pets are not and never will be allowed.”

    There was and never will be schemes that are pet free, this notion is truly wrong, as long as therapy/assistant pets are legal in all homes that means there is never a guarantee that a block will be free of pets.

    “For the record, in the past year The Horizon’s owners have voted overwhelmingly to keep their no-pets by-laws.”

    To clarify, 70% of Horizon owners have never voting in regards to the Pet by-law.

    #52538
    AvatarTonyC
    Flatchatter

    The Court of Appeal is clearly a devotee of the movie “The Castle”. In the movie, Darryl Kerrigan successfully defended his home from compulsory acquisition. In this case, the Cooper family successfully defended their rights as ‘freehold owners’ to keep their dog in a strata scheme.
    Effectively, the Court of Appeal is giving strata owners the same rights as home owners – which is the freedom to do what they like inside their strata units so long as they don’t disturb the neighbours. In doing so, the Court has put a very powerful weapon into the hands of strata owners to sweep aside (invalidate or ignore) by-laws which restrict what they can do inside their unit (so long as they don’t disturb the neighbours).

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Flat Chat Forum From the Front Page Current Page