We’ve received many questions about strata rules regarding the rights to have pets in strata in South Australia.
Table of contents:
- QUESTION: Do we need strata management approval for our dog before purchasing a unit or townhouse? What is a reasonable time frame for a response?
- QUESTION: We are selling our unit and have approval for a dog. Can this approval transfer to the new owners or do they need to seek their own approval?
- QUESTION: I’m signing my lease for an apartment tomorrow and I have just been told that the building will not allow me to have my cat. What are strata rules in SA about a tenants rights to have pets?
- QUESTION: What are strata rules in SA about gaining approval for a dog to live in our building? Do residents have a right to have pets?
- QUESTION: If our scheme clearly has a strata no pets policy, what do we do about visitors bringing dogs and allowing them to “toilet” on the lawns?
- QUESTION: What is the best way to tell new residents about their rights to have pets when we have a no pet bylaw – especially when they already have a dog?
Question: Do we need strata management approval for our dog before purchasing a unit or townhouse? What is a reasonable time frame for a response?
We are in the market for a strata unit or townhouse. We have a dog. Open houses mention the same vague “pets by negation or review”. Do we need strata management approval before purchasing the property? What is the obligation for strata management to get back within a reasonable time frame, say seven days?
Answer: If the committee are entitled to make this decision, a committee meeting can be called with three days’ notice.
The Strata Titles Act states that approval must be received from the corporation to keep pets. The committee can make this decision unless limitations have been placed on the committee. If the committee are entitled to make this decision, a committee meeting can be called with three days’ notice.
If the committee is not entitled to make this decision, or if the corporation does not have a committee, the vote will need to be submitted through an extraordinary meeting (EGM). For EGMs, owners are required to receive 14 days notice.
This post appears in Strata News #681.
Question: We are selling our unit and have approval for a dog. Can this approval transfer to the new owners or do they need to seek their own approval?
We are selling a unit which has previously been given approval for a dog and the previous Strata policy decisions and unanimous resolutions resolved by the Corporation on 8th August 2012 states:
Unit 1 Owner granted approval to house a small dog subject to the animal not being a nuisance to other owners, registered and trained, kept on a lead at all times when on common property and all messes cleaned immediately. The Corporation reserves the right to rescind the approval should any of the above not be followed.
We bought the property in 2014 and did not have to gain additional approval for a dog. The current Strata manager is forcing a new approval be granted for the new owner before the property is sold.
Is this correct or should the approval continue to the new owner as it did for us when we purchased?
Answer: Approve for pets is usually on a case by case basis
Schedule 3 (4) of the Strata Titles Act states that “subject to the Strata Titles Act 1988, a person bound by these articles must not without the strata corporation’s consent, keep any animal in, or in the vicinity of, a unit”.
The resolution that was passed by your Corporation states that the approval was for “Unit 1 Owner”, however it doesn’t specifically state if it was for the owner or the unit. I believe the interpretation can be argued both ways.
In my experience many people tend to approve pets on a case by case basis and do not intentionally give blanket approval for animals in units, unless the resolution specifically states so. I would be recommending that approval be sought for the new owners to keep a dog, as owners people do tend to have different opinions on what is a small dog, as well as the living conditions of the owner, meaning does the owner stay home most of the time, or do they work fulltime meaning the dog will be left home alone majority of the time.
I believe that it is important for owners who are seeking approval to keep a dog provide as much information as possible so other owners are aware of the type of dog, size and how they will be left if the occupant is out, this will reduce the risk or owners complaining about the situation and also reduce the possibility of owners requesting that the dog be removed from the property which would cause more issues for the new owner of the property.
This post appears in Strata News #484.
Question: I’m signing my lease for an apartment tomorrow and I have just been told that the building will not allow me to have my cat. What are strata rules in SA about a tenants rights to have pets?
I’m signing my lease for an apartment tomorrow and I have just been told that the building will not allow me to have my cat.
Do I have any rights to contact the strata about this or do I have to deal through the Landlord and/or Agent? What are the strata rules in SA about a tenants rights to have pets?
Answer: Generally the strata corporation does not take any questions or queries from the tenant and it is best you raise the issue with the landlord.
Generally, the strata corporation does not take any questions or queries from the tenant and it is best you raise the issue about your rights to have pets with the landlord.
The landlord can then request approval from the corporation about your rights to have pets. There may be fees associated with this if a meeting is to be called to gain the approval or there may be a standing decision the corporation has made regarding pets.
You can try and talk to the strata manager but failing this, to best comply with strata rules, the above process would be the way.
This post appears in Strata News #150.
Question: What are strata rules in SA about gaining approval for a dog to live in our building? Do residents have a right to have pets?
I am a tenant living in a strata title and I don’t want a dog in the building!
What rights does a tenant have regarding a dog being approved to live in a strata block? I am the middle resident – a tenant – in a strata block of three apartments, and my owner is new to investing and unsure about strata legislation and strata rules.
One of the other owners has placed their lot on the market for sale, and the interested purchaser is seeking approval for a whippet to live at the unit. What are their rights to have pets in the scheme?
Do I, as a tenant, have any power to voice my thoughts about pets being allowed in the block? No-one seems to know what the bylaws are.
Answer: An occupier of a unit, whether owner or tenant, should enjoy the same rights of peaceful living
It is our understanding that a unit owner or occupier of a unit is still bound by the same laws and should enjoy the same rights of peaceful living.
Under Schedule 3 The Articles of the Association in Schedule 3 of the Strata titles ACT 1988, it states a person bound by these articles must not make or allow his or her customers, clients or visitors to make, undue noise in or about any unit or the common property.
Under strata rules for SA, a pet that is making undue noise could be classed as disturbing the harmonious lifestyle of others. If this is the case, the tenant must inform the strata manager and necessary action should be taken.
The approval of the pet is another area and the tenant does not have a say in their rights to have pets as the approvals are granted by the owners. Commercial strata may differ.
If you wish to be a more informed tenant you can request your owner to send you copies of the minutes from the general meetings of the corporation, this will tell you what is going on in the strata.
Question: If our scheme clearly has a strata no pets policy, what do we do about visitors bringing dogs and allowing them to “toilet” on the lawns?
Could You please help with the following issue about strata in SA?
It is in our constitution, passed again at our recent AGM, that there are to be no pets, including dogs, on the property. One of the visitors persists in bringing her dog when she visits her Mother (a tenant at the scheme), and “toilets” it on adjoining lawns as well. What is our recourse?
Answer: It is always good for the body corporate to make a resolution regarding pets, as these days many people love to have pets and seem to take them wherever they go.
This a really good question and can affect many bodies corporate.
It is always good for the body corporate to make a resolution regarding pets and their resident’s rights to have pets, as these days many people love to have pets and seem to take them wherever they go.
If your strata have made a resolution that no pets are to be kept on site, this is quite simple to adhere to; however, if you have not made mention about visiting pets, this can be difficult to police.
The first step is to always speak with the resident of the offending unit and come to a mutual agreement. If this does not bring about the desired result, change the resolution by rescinding the existing resolution and pass a new one that takes into account pets that visit the property.
If your meeting is some time away, you may charge the cost of the clean-up to the owner or look into fining the owner that allows the defecation on the common property, as the unwanted faeces may cause a disturbance to the use and enjoyment of the common grounds.
Talk to your strata manager and they can help you handle this matter.
Question: What is the best way to tell new residents about their rights to have pets when we have a no pet bylaw – especially when they already have a dog?
New owners in our block have a dog. How can I explain to them our no pets allowed rule! I feel terrible telling them, but I have too. What is the best way to go about informing them of their rights to have pets in our building?
Answer: Make use of the Strata Manager to enforce your strata rules
Yes, a good question and an important one to keep the peace between neighbours.
Your neighbours can become your friends and telling them what they can’t and can do can be very intrusive and ill feelings can develop if you become the fun police. The best way to approach situations like this is through the strata manager. Asking the strata manager to inform them of their rights to have pets in your building and this will allow space between you and your neighbour.
If your neighbour wants to keep a pet, let them know they can check with the strata manager and be informed that way.
If you have minutes of the meeting or a resolution list you can hand this to them and this will tell them what the corporation has approved or not.
Once they have received this information you can then talk to them to ensure they understand it. This will also be a good time to let them know they should attend the AGM as this is where most resolutions are made.
Remember, when in doubt, contact your professional strata manager and they can advise the best course of action.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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