Can I have pets in my strata property?

Happy woman sitting on a couch while hugging her dog

For many people, it’s the warmth, joy and pitter-patter of tiny paws that really transform a house into a home. If you’ve ever experienced the unconditional love of a furry friend, you know the magic they bring into our daily lives. Once upon a time, by-laws could restrict you from adding this magic to your home, but that is no longer true. You can now have pets in your strata home, although certain restrictions may apply.

With over 40 years of experience in strata management, ASSM recognises the importance of strata owners and occupiers enjoying the companionship of animals. However, it’s crucial to keep a few considerations in mind to maintain a harmonious community living environment. Here’s our guide to pets and strata living.

cat scavenges for food from leftover dishes on an outdoor table

Conditions of pet ownership

In NSW, strata owners have the right to own pets unless they cause ‘unreasonable interference,’ which includes dangerous or restricted dogs and any disturbances to other residents. Owners corporations can set pet rules, but residents with pets cannot be subjected to imposed fees, bonds or insurance requirements.

Informing the owners corporation or strata committee in writing about your desire to have a pet may be necessary, and they could establish conditions, such as requesting details about your pet like the pet’s name, type, breed, vaccination status and even a photo. Conditions often include supervising the pet in common areas and ensuring proper clean-up.

If issues arise, residents can first address them with the owner. If resolution proves elusive, they can escalate the matter to the local council for a nuisance order, and as a final step, they can pursue removal through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Assistance animals cannot be banned from living in strata properties, and by-laws hindering their duties on common property are prohibited. The owners corporation can request evidence of the assistance animal’s status but cannot ask for private medical records.

jack russell dog waiting a the door at home with leather leash in his mouth

Tips for being a considerate neighbour

Before committing to a pet, it’s important to assess various factors, with your neighbours being a primary concern. Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for animals, and in communal living arrangements, maintaining harmonious relationships can prove difficult when pets get involved. To start, acquaint yourself with the by-laws and rules governing your community.

Consider your pet’s needs, particularly its alone time during the day. If you work long hours, assess whether it can handle solitude without incessant barking. Make sure there’s enough outdoor space for your pet to enjoy fresh air and exercise.

Additionally, think about your pet’s toileting requirements and whether you can maintain a clean environment without disturbing your neighbours.

Remember, your pet is your responsibility, and cleaning up after them goes beyond toileting. Dogs and cats may dig holes, which is unwelcome in common areas. When in shared spaces, be extra considerate. Keep pets on a leash for the safety and comfort of others, and always ensure they are well-behaved in public to avoid causing tension with fellow residents.

Why choose All Suburbs Strata Management?

Pets are like family. And they’re often called ‘fur babies’ for a reason. Being a fur parent can be almost as all-consuming as caring for a human baby. They’re undeniably rewarding, but it’s important to be prepared for the training and care they require.

If you’re living in a strata scheme and ready to welcome a new addition, that’s great! Just ensure you’re familiar with your by-laws, adhere to the applicable protocols and be considerate of those in your community.

At ASSM, we have over 40 years of experience in strata management, and we are experts in residential, community, commercial and industrial strata schemes.

We will ensure your strata scheme runs as smoothly as possible. When considering buying into a strata scheme or wanting to engage a professional and qualified team, contact ASSM today.

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