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  • #49779

    I’m wondering if you guys can help.

    Due to recent mental health stress, I’ve been advised by my General Physician (GP) to invest time with a companion dog. I have the permission of my landlord and agent to have a pet in the apartment.

    I seeked approval from my building manager – he stated that it would be ok to get the pet, and all I needed was to provide a picture of the pet and the Council Paperwork when it arrived.

    I thought everything was good to go.

    I researched and got the pet I thought I would be the most compatible with – a German Shepard.

    I’ve bonded very well with this puppy and consider it my child.

    Out of the blue I was emailed by the senior facilities manager (who is 1 rank above the building manager). Who stated that the information provided by the building manager was incorrect and I required OC approval.

    I called him immediately to explain the situation and how I asked the building manager the process for adopting and what I was told. He advised me that was incorrect information and the type of dog I have will not be approved.

    He’s provided me with the strata OC pet form – which I have completed, and returned.

    However, he’s also stated that by keeping the puppy in my apartment, I am still breaching the by-laws – whilst the OC application is under review.

    Where do I stand? Can I still keep the puppy till I hear back from OC? If they say no, can I keep the puppy till we go to mediation and NCAT?

    Whats the chances of winning at NCAT?

    My time with the puppy has greatly improved my mental stresses, and has been noted by my GP also. So I wish to keep her.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by .
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  • #49937

    In NSW all cats and dogs are described as companion animals . They have no special privileges unless mmmthey are declared an assistance animal.

    An assistance animal is specially registered and an OC cannot refuse such an animal.

    Can you get your animal registered as an assistance animal. You have to prove that you have a disability and require the animal to conduct your life.

    Unfortunately it seems that your GP , though good intentioned has aggravated your situation.

    Your dog appears to fall under the general category of a pet, and as such is subjextbto the strata bylaws in place.

    You may have some recall against your landlord or agent, if they put it in writing. Because they can’t fulfil path of their  contract, if it was in writing, you have grounds to terminate the lease and find another place.

    If you choose this route, make sure that before you sign the lease that the OC approval your dog.

    AvatarJust Asking

    I am also generally in favour of dogs!

    It is not enough to claim your dog is an assistance dog for a health issue. The dog must be trained and officially qualified, and this takes considerable time and effort, but results in extra nice dogs.

    Although the landlord may have given permission to keep the dog, a dispute at NCAT with the other owners may not be palatable to the landlord, even if you are prepared to go that far.

    Your relationship with your dog will hopefully be for many years to come, and the question of permissions to keep the dog with you will keep recurring whilst you are either a tenant or living in a strata scheme. A longer term plan needs to be thought about, and avoiding NCAT also?


    I have a dog, I love dogs of all shapes and sizes.

    I am not sure why you chose a German Shepherd to keep in an apartment, there are so many dog breeds to choose from, and to be honest German Shepherds would be way down the list of suitable dogs for apartment living. Greyhounds are great, as they sleep for about 22 hours a day.

    There are some suggestions here that you claim the dog is an assistance animal – the thing is, some people are scared of dogs, and you need to bear in mind there may be residents who find the presence of a German Shepherd upsetting. It works both ways.

    You say that you had the permission of the agent and the landlord to keep a dog, and a verbal assurance from the building manager. The landlord should have sought permission from the owners corporation for you to keep the dog. Have they done that?

    AvatarJust Asking

    My GP was in a similar situation, but was experiencing grief in relation to keeping a toy poodle! She got around this by training her puppy to be an assistance dog, officially. Assistance dogs are recognised for those in stressful occupations, or otherwise with mental health concerns.


    Hi Kamz119,

    I think the NSW govt made changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act for easier pet ownership a bout 4 years ago. Our Strata scheme adopted a bylaw where pets were allowed with permission from the Committee.  I think there needs to be a very ” good ” reason for a pet to be denied.  Now a medium to large dog such as a German Shepard may be considered a ” good reason ” but the fact that your puppy is necessary ” medication ” I place it in the same category as a seeing eye Dog and you should have special consideration.  I have a mate who needed a companion dog for his PTSD and he can bring the Dog into a cinema with him.  I think by presenting all the precautions you’ll take and make in keeping your puppy as she grows and the fact she is a ” treatment ” dog you have a pretty good argument for keeping her.

    Good Luck



    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, I spent some time researching the pet I wanted. I spoke to numerous Gas breeders and apartment owners – and with their advice made a plan on how to apartment settle the dog.

    I did provide the following to help with their decision: and I will also add what you told me:


    <div>- Both her parents are of medium size, indicating that she will be of a similar calibre when fully grown. This would be no bigger in size than the Husky that has been OC approved in this building, or the German shepherd that has been OC approved for Darling North.</div>
    <div>-  We are currently undergoing 1 on 1 training with a professional dog trainer. This occurs weekly at Wentworth Park, and we have already taught Lexi where to toilet, sit, heel, and to settle. This allows us to communicate and keep Lexi’s attention, while ensuring she is stimulated and engaged. This prevents destructive and lazy behaviours later in her life.</div>
    <div>- At 4 months, we will have her boarded for advanced puppy/dog training, by one of Sydneys leading dog trainers. Please see the following website for more details: https://www.petstrainingandboarding.com .  This advanced obedience and behavioural training will enable Lexi to grow up without having bad habits.</div>
    <div>- Me and my partner are working alternative shifts, so their will always be someone present in the apartment with Lexi.</div>
    <div>- We also take her out for walks 3-4x/ day to ensure she is kept active and not bored within the apartment.

    <div>sorry the above is a copy paste from the email I sent the SFM along with the OC application.</div>
    <div>I am putting her thought training, and Advanved training when she’s 4 months.

    <div>I just want sure if if need to give her up till NCAT. Or if strata would refuse me entry into the building.</div>

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by .

    To add to JT’s comments  – If you haven’t already, consider enrolling your dog in puppy school. This will not only  make sure that the dog will behave properly as it matures, but will support your assertion that he/she is not likely to become a problem and is a suitable companion for  you.

    In our large scheme in NSW our pet-by-law restricts the size of a pet to 12kgs – so that it can be carried if need be. However, we have also made an exception for a rescue greyhound – permission was restricted  to a particular dog and lot and supported by a special-bylaw.

    So, if you can ensure (prove) your puppy is well-trained, does not bark, is well-controlled on common property (muzzled, leashed), then you should be able to make a good case to keep your pet. It is unlikely that any NCAT action will go against you unless it is proven the puppy/dog  is or is likely to be, a nuisance.




    Firstly, I have to say German Shepherds are possibly not the best dogs for apartments.  They can be aggressive/defensive and will bark when they hear people near your unit door.  That cute puppy is going to grow into a large, smart, energetic and demanding animal.

    However, the owners corp can’t force you to remove the dog right now.  But they can ask and if you refuse that will probably count against you when it comes to their decision.

    What you need to do is address their possible concerns, for instance:
    * by offering not to enter the lift with the dog when other people are already inside,
    * to have the dog on a leash and muzzle whenever you take it through common property,
    * to satisfactorily complete dog training classes with the pup,
    * to ensure it is never left alone in the apartment (the main cause of excessive barking)

    If you can fulfill all these commitments, the committee will find it hard to reasonably refuse your request (although you may have to fight them at NCAT if they do).

    You can also point out that, if the worst comes to the worst, the owners corporation has an avenue, under Section 158 of the strata Act, to require the removal of a dog that has been permitted but has proved to be troublesome, so it’s not as if you are asking for carte blanche permission, come what may.

    Meanwhile, only NCAT can order the removal of the puppy and the fact that you were originally given wrong information by the building manager gives you a strong case for keeping the pooch until such times as this is resolved.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by .
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