A Qld lot owner would like to know if, due to their asthma and allergies, they can stop their neighbour from having a dog. Todd Garsden, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: Our neighbour is getting a small, furry dog. I’ve informed our body corporate of my asthma and allergy to dogs. Can I stop the neighbour from having a dog?
We have found out that we are getting a new neighbour who has received approval from the committee to have a small, furry dog in their unit.
I am an asthmatic and have an allergy to dogs.
The committee has been sent a copy of the medical certificate from my doctor but they have chosen to ignore it.
Can I appeal the Body Corporate Committee’s decision?
If so, how?
Answer: It is not as simple as if there is an asthmatic then a dog cannot be approved.
For the committee’s decision to be successfully challenged the owner needs to show that the decision to approve the pet is objectively unreasonable. That would need to be demonstrated by showing that the:
- interference to the asthmatic is unreasonable; and
- unreasonable interference cannot be managed by the imposition of any reasonable conditions such as restrictions around the dog’s access through the common property, grooming and cleanliness of the areas the dog inhabits – this all needs to be tied back to how it would affect the asthmatic’s use of their lot and common property.
It is not as simple as if there is an asthmatic then a dog cannot be approved.
Assuming the interference can be shown and conditions cannot assist, we would suggest writing to the committee setting out these issues and asking for the decision to be revoked. If that doesn’t work the asthmatic could then make a dispute resolution application.
This post appears in Strata News #248.
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