These Q&As about the pets in strata Qld have been refused contributed to by Frank Higginson and Todd Garsden of Hynes Legal and Kelly Borell of Tower Body Corporate.
Question: Our Body Corporate has refused a proposal for a resident to keep a cat and a dog. The resident is appealing the vote. What process does this appeal take and, during the process, do we get a chance to support the Body Corporate’s decision?
We had 2 proposals tabled from 1 tenant. One application was for approval to keep a cat, and the other to keep a dog.
We are a five-unit complex and the motion was resolved 2-0 mainly because the cat was already living in the building.
The application for the dog failed to pass by the same result 2-0.
Aside from the proposer, of the other 2 owners, 1 did not vote and the other was ineligible.
Now the proposer is appealing the vote.
Can you tell me who they appeal to and what process that appeal takes? Also, do the voters who voted “No” have a chance to support their decision?
Answer: The resident needs to go to the Commissioner’s Office to seek an order that the body corporate acted unreasonably in refusing the approval.
What they have to do is go to the Commissioner’s Office to seek an order that the body corporate acted unreasonably in refusing the approval. That will normally take somewhere around three months, but to be honest, these ones are pretty easy for them, which means it may be quicker. The pet will almost certainly be allowed.
…do the voters who voted “No” have a chance to support their decision?
Of course, they do – but the question is whether their say is an objectively reasonable one – which is now what matters. They will be asked for why and they will be able to explain themselves.
This post appears in Strata News #205.
E: [email protected]
Question: I was wondering if you have any information about Pets in strata QLD for strata living and whether or not there has been a change.
I live in a complex on the sunshine coast where the Body Corporate has been in control for many years without change to their positions or representatives.
They all hate pets and do not consider individual requests or needs. At the last meeting, they refused a request for no reason at all other than to just say they hate pets.
I would appreciate any information you might have on the topic of pets in strata QLD.
Answer: If the Body Corporate has refused a request to approve a pet, the owner can make an application to the commissioner to have the decision overturned.
I know that there have been many cases where the commissioner has given approval for pets.
We have dealt with 4 or 5 cases ourselves.
The owner will also need to check what their bylaw actually say in regards to pets.
If there is a blanket ‘no pet’ rule, the owner could put up a motion on a general meeting to have the bylaw changed to a ‘pets with approval’ bylaw. If that motion is defeated, then they should include it in their BCCM application to have the bylaw changed.
Tower Body Corporate
Ph: 07 5609 4924
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice.
Question: Can body corporate administration fees for approval of pets in our strata be passed onto individual lot owners?
I live in a block of apartments in QLD and recently had a claim for damage to window frames following a break in. The window frames form part of the common property and a claim was submitted via the Body Corporate Management. Body Corporate Management has since invoiced me personally for the costs of administration for submitting that claim. Can they legally do that?
Also, when a submission is put forward for approval of a pet in our strata, the owner in question has to pay an administration fee to the committee. Can the committee do that or does the Body Corporate have to wear that cost? In other words, what body corporate administration fees can be recouped from individual lot owners?
Answer: If the lot owner wants pet approval considered outside the normal scope of the committee meetings, it is possibly fair enough to charge for this.
If the claim was for common property the strata manager should invoice the body corporate, not the lot owner, but only if they are entitled to under their management agreement.
With respect to the pet, if the owner wants it considered outside the normal scope of the committee meetings it is possibly fair enough to charge for it. While the body corporate has an obligation to respond, it doesn’t have to do so to every single request the day after it lands. If it is put to expense processing something outside the normal course of business, then I think the recovery of the administrative costs is fair. If there was a charge given even though there was a committee meeting already arranged like normal where it was considered, I think not.
The committee should tell the owner that, if they want it considered before the next committee meeting then they must bear the costs incurred. The owner should then be given the opportunity to wait or bear those costs for it to be expedited.
This post appears in Strata News #130.
E: [email protected]
Question: Do apartments allow large dogs? If the Body Corporate refuses, where do I stand legally?
We own a 140 unit permanent management rights in Queen. We have 33 owner occupiers and 107 rental units of 86 are ours.
We bought the business is Sep 15 and asked if we were allowed an exemption to bring our 30kg bulldog. It was flatly refused. The Body Corporate by-laws state 1 animal up to 10 Kilos.
Since we have been here for a while, we are considering asking permission again, however, the committee is old school retired people and I am sure they still won’t approve.
If they still say no, where do I stand legally? I have heard of many onsite managers having special approval for a dog, so surely there is something that can be done.
Small dogs are often more troublesome than large dogs and the amount of excellent potential tenants I have to turn away because of a dog over the limit is enormous.
Hoping you can give me some guidance.
Answer: The starting point is whether a 10kg limit on pets is unreasonable.
The starting point is whether the 10kg limit on pets is unreasonable. Adjudicators consistently say that it is unreasonable – so the committee can’t rely on that for a basis of saying no to the pet even if it is in the by-laws. The committee would need to consider the pet application on its merits and approve it on reasonable conditions or refuse it (but only if that would be considered reasonable).
Other than a demonstrated nature of the pet to cause a nuisance to others, it is very difficult for a committee to refuse any pet.
This post appears in Strata News #127