A NSW tenant is wondering whether their Owners Corporation can have a bylaw requesting a strata pet bond of $500. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following response.
Question: I’m a tenant with a cat. The Owners Corporation has a bylaw requesting a $500 Pet Bond to be paid to strata. I thought pet bonds weren’t legal in NSW.
I’m renting an apartment and I have a cat. My landlord has asked me to fill in a form for the cat, by request of the owners corporation.
The form states cats must be registered with the strata, however, it also contains a clause referring to a bylaw requesting a $500 pet bond.
My understanding is that pet bonds are not legal in NSW.
Who is required to pay the bond to strata? The owner or the tenant? A $500 bond seems unreasonable given the cat is not allowed to access any common areas.
Answer: As a Tenant, you must comply with both your lease and the strata by-laws.
Pet bonds are not illegal and the strata legislation is silent on the matter.
Usually, the pet-owner would provide the bond to the owners corporation as security in case of damage to or soiling of the common property.
You may wish to try to negotiate the amount of the bond, however, even though the cat does not leave the confines of your apartment, if, for example, you have floorboards within the apartment the cat might scratch those or cause other damage to common property within your apartment or cause smells or accidents which might seep into the apartment below.
You are correct regarding residential tenancies and pet bonds in NSW. On their tenancy information pages, NSW Fair Trading states: Higher bonds cannot be charged for tenants with pets, children or for any other reason. It would be unfair that a Landlord could charge an additional bond over and above the 4 weeks (standard) bond already held by the Landlord.
As a Tenant, you must comply with both your lease and the strata by-laws.
So, although paying your Landlord a pet-bond is unlawful, you will still need to comply with strata requirements eg whether or not pets are permitted, pet application fee, pet bond (possibly), rules and regulations about the keeping of the pet and whether or not it may be on the common property etc.
Have a question about strata pet bonds or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
This post appears in Strata News #302.
- NSW: Q&A Keeping Pets in Strata Units. How Many Are Too Many?
- NSW By-Laws & Pets: What is harsh unconscionable or oppressive?
- NSW: Q&A Can A Strata Bylaw Set a Size Limit for Dogs?
These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.