Choosing to live in an apartment no longer means you need to forgo sharing your life with a pet. Even before the pandemic a growing number of people were deciding to open their hearts and homes to pets and with an increasing trend toward people living in strata-titled properties, strata laws needed an overhaul to reflect these shifts.
Following extensive public consultation strata law in NSW finally changed in August last year. Under the new laws, an owners corporation can only refuse to allow an animal into the scheme if that animal unreasonably interferes with another resident’s use and enjoyment of their lot or the common property. Blanket bans on pet ownership are no longer allowed.
The owners corporation may still seek details of the pet/s such as their name, type, breed, age, microchip number and vaccination record, as part of an approval process before adding the pet into the strata scheme. Plus the resident pet owner will have to follow certain reasonable guidelines like keeping their pet within their property boundaries and supervising pets whenever they are in common areas.
These changes are a welcome step in the right direction and reflect inclusive attitudes which recognise pets as part of the family and the benefits they bring to the community. Landlords still have the right to refuse a pet in their apartment and finding pet-friendly rental accommodation around Australia remains challenging. However there are many who appreciate the advantages of responsible pet-owning tenants and understand the importance of keeping pets and their people together.
For more information on pets and housing plus a range of resources for pet-owning renters, visit Cat Protection Society’s website: https://catprotection.org.au/renting-and-strata-for-cats/ or for advice phone 02 9519 7201.