This Q&A about pet approval and the correct process for seeking approval has been answered by Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal.
Question: We have moved into our apartment, with our dog, prior to receiving pet approval. It is another two months before a committee meeting. Our dog is very well behaved. Are we doing the right thing?
We have moved into our high rise apartment 2 months after applying for our dog pet application. It will be another 2 months before a committee meeting will consider our request for pet approval.
As we had to move in with our pet prior to pet approval being granted is there any way they can force her out either before or after the vote if the application is rejected. We do expect the pet approval to be rejected as they don’t want pets in the building.
Over the past months, I have been harassed by a person claiming to be a member of the committee, saying “we don’t allow pets here”.
We carry our little King Charles Cavalier on and off the property through the basement car park. She is professionally groomed every 6 weeks, vaccinated, and basically sleeps all day.
Are we doing the right thing keeping our dog at the property even though we do not have pet approval?
Answer: In a sense, you have gone for the ‘it is easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission’ path!
No, you are not doing the right thing. You have breached the by-laws by keeping a pet without approval.
Having said that though, what you should do is make your formal application and then wait. If the committee is going to have a VOC to issue a by-law breach notice to you, they can consider the application at the same time.
In a sense, you have gone for the ‘it is easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission’ path!
Question: A lot owner is seeking pet approval. They have had a dog previously and paid no heed to the bylaws. Will a condition setting out our right to rescind permission assist?
An owner in our scheme is seeking pet approval to keep a cat and a dog. The cat is already in the unit, and the dog has been purchased and will be arriving soon. We are in the process of casting our vote.
My concern is that this owner has previously had a dog which is now deceased under very similar conditions but during the ownership, the body corporate was completely ignored. In the most likely event that they get permission for the pet approval, could you please have a look at the condition and tell me what happens if indeed the Body Corporate has to exercise this condition. What are the implications for the Body Corporate and committee and would what happens to the animals?
The Committee for the Body Corporate for […] shall be entitled to rescind permission for the dog if it reasonably considers that the occupier has not complied with the conditions of approval and has failed to respond/react appropriately to the two warning about the concerns.
Answer: It is simply a matter of the body corporate enforcing bylaws and revoking pet approval if the breaches are not remedied.
The first thing is that you cannot shoot first and ask questions later. In financial planning terms, past performance is no indicator of future performance.
If the pet does break the rules, like anything else, it is a matter then for the body corporate to enforce the by-laws. The process here would be to notify the owner about the issues, give them a chance to remedy them, and the revoke the approval. If the pet was not removed, you would need to go to the Commissioner to seek an order that it be withdrawn.
This post appears in Strata News #211