Over the past years, we have reported on the ongoing legal battle over whether strata schemes can pass by-laws that prevent owners and occupiers from having pets within strata schemes.
This issue was finally determined with amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 commencing on 24 August 2021, which provided a strata scheme cannot have a by-law that unreasonably prohibits the keeping of an animal on a lot.
However, a scheme is able to prohibit the keeping of an animal on a lot if the animal ‘unreasonably interferes with another occupant’s use and enjoyment of the occupant’s lot or the common property’.
The circumstances in which this will be deemed to occur include when:
- the animal makes a noise that persistently occurs to the degree that the noise unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of another occupant;
- the animal repeatedly runs at or chases another occupant, a visitor of another occupant or an animal kept by another occupant;
- the animal attacks or otherwise menaces another occupant, a visitor of another occupant or an animal kept by another occupant;
- the animal repeatedly causes damage to the common property or another lot;
- the animal endangers the health of another occupant through infection or infestation;
- the animal causes a persistent offensive odour that penetrates another lot or the common property;
- for a cat kept on a lot the owner of the animal fails to comply with an order that is in force under the Companion Animals Act 1998;
- for a dog kept on a lot the owner of the animal fails to comply with an order that is in force, the animal is declared to be a menacing dog or a dangerous dog or the animal is a restricted dog under the Companion Animals Act 1998.