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Working out how to have your animal live with you within a community titles scheme can be confusing. To help take the guesswork out of it, we’ve compiled the most relevant information below.

 

Each community titles scheme varies based upon the scheme’s by-laws, and there are many different types of by-laws relating to animals. The by-laws determine your rights and responsibilities regarding keeping animals, as well as the process for obtaining approval. These by-laws are typically found in the scheme’s community management statement (CMS).

If there is no specific by-law regulating animals within your scheme, you do not need to ask for permission to keep an animal within your lot. However, you must still consider the other laws that may apply, such as noise and causing a nuisance. Consider whether your lot is appropriate for your animal to live, and whether it is likely your animal will cause a nuisance to other neighbours within your scheme. Understandably, the legislation prohibits occupiers from using or permitting the use of their lot in a way that causes a nuisance or interferes unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of another lot or common property.

The most common by-law regarding animals is classified as a ‘permissive by-law’, where you can request written approval from the committee, and they cannot unreasonably refuse a request. Usually this is decided at the next committee meeting, however, if you require a decision sooner than the scheduled meeting, an additional administrative fee may apply to prepare a voting paper. You can submit your request to your Body Corporate Manager, and they then prepare it for the committee.

Often the by-laws include conditions to abide by when having an animal in your lot, which must have complete compliance. If there are no conditions, the committee can impose conditions at their discretion when giving approval to keep an animal. The conditions are used to minimise any impact caused by the animal to other occupiers and common property, but the committee must act reasonably when setting these conditions.

Common conditions written in the by-laws might include:

  • The animal is not allowed on the common property, except for the purpose of being taken in or out of the scheme land.
  • The animal must be on a lead or adequately restrained while on common property.
  • The animal must be regularly treated for fleas.
  • The animal must not cause a nuisance or interfere unreasonably with any person’s use or enjoyment of another lot or common property.
  • The animal must be kept in good health and free from fleas and parasites.
  • Any animal waste must be disposed of in such a way that it does not create noxious odours or otherwise contaminate the scheme.
  • Reasonable steps must be taken to minimise the transfer of airborne allergens from the animal, such as regular vacuuming and/or grooming.
  • The committee can withdraw approval for the animal to remain on the scheme if the specified conditions are not complied with.
  • The approval only applies to the animal in the application and does not allow the keeping of any additional replacement or substitute animals on the lot.

If you do not comply with the legislation or the conditions imposed by the committee (or written in the by-laws), this can result in the committee withdrawing approval for your animal and asking you to remove the animal from the property.

Some schemes may have prohibitive animal by-laws, where they impose conditions without exception. For instance, the by-laws may prohibit all animals completely or of a certain type such as cats, dogs, or dogs over 10kgs. The committee cannot approve an animal that the by-laws prohibit. However, if you are an owner, you can submit a motion to change the by-law.

If you feel an unreasonable decision has been made by the committee regarding an animal, there are avenues you can take to dispute. Please contact your Body Corporate Manager to discuss further.

You can view more of our FAQs here and read other helpful blogs here.

Please use the contact us page to submit any further questions or to find out how we can help you.