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What you need to know about pet by-laws in strata living

By Andrew Bell

Unconditional love and companionship are just a couple of reasons why pets make great roommates. Your building committee, however, may not feel the same way. If you're considering strata real estate in Surfers Paradise and are nervous about the fate of your furry friend, here's what you need to know about the by-laws surrounding pet ownership.

Animal by-laws in Queensland

Depending on what sort of Gold Coast property you reside in, there are different by-laws relating to pet ownership. In strata living, your community scheme statement may have specific regulations.

While building body corporations generally have the final say on whether your animals get to stay in your apartment, there are limits to the implemented by-laws. As per Section 180 of the BCCM Act 1997, a by-law can't be unfairly oppressive towards pet owners, and needs to act in the best interests of building occupants.

Most strata communities have permissive by-laws allowing pets if permission is sought. All occupants, current or potential, can apply provided they are willing to meet the conditions outlined by the committee of the body corporate.

Some of these conditions may include:

  • Dogs must be kept on leashes when in communal areas.
  • Pets need to be flea-treated.
  • The animal needs to keep to an appropriate volume and not irritate other occupants.

A prohibitive by-law can restrict the breed, size, or number of animals an owner can bring into a building, or ban them altogether. These by-laws can be tough to navigate, however if you are passionate about keeping your pet, you can apply for a special consideration or appeal the agreement.

Some buildings have no specific regulations in place regarding the keeping of pets. In these instances, permission isn't required, however making note of existing by-laws in the scheme is advised, such as noise control or cleaning specifications.

How do I ask for permission?

When seeking permission to keep an animal in your building, make sure you do this in writing and provide as much detail about your pet as possible. Mention the type of animal, their behaviour and your plan for cleaning and exercising them without causing stress to other building occupants. The key is to be honest – your building committee will appreciate your initiative, and are more likely to consider your case than if you are secretly harbouring a pet.

Sneakily hiding a cat or dog in your building without permission is violating by-laws and subsequently your building agreement. In this instance, the committee can issue a breach notice to you and remove the animal in question.

If you're considering strata living or Gold Coast real estate, get in touch with the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise.

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