I am an owner: can I keep a pet in my apartment?



 

The answer depends on the registered by-laws for your building, the type and number of pets you want to have and the attitude of the owners corporation to pets generally and your pet in particular.

If your apartment is part of a larger development, such as a community scheme or a building governed by a strata management statement, there are additional considerations.

What by-laws apply to my building?

For information on the by-laws which apply to your building [see about pet by-laws].

How do I get approval?

If your building by-laws require approval to pets, then you must obtain that approval before bringing your pet into the building.

Your by-laws may prescribe to whom you apply for approval and what information you must provide.

If not, then you should make application to the secretary of the owners corporation: and if in doubt to whom to send the application letter, send it to the strata managing agent.

You should give as much information as you can.  This includes:

  • describing your pet: name, type, size, weight, age, gender, appearance and disposition
  • providing references if you have any
  • information if your pet has been to obedience school

It is a good idea to check what other pets are already in the building and what approvals have previously been granted and withheld.

If the by-laws do not permit pets, can I change the by-laws ?

You should first check the general attitude of other owners.  Buildings which already have a no pet policy may be reticent about changing their by-laws.

This does not mean you will not be successful.

[See how to change by-laws for information on how to amend the by-laws or add new by-laws] and [see sample pet by-law for a form of by-law]

What must I do if I want to rent my apartment?

You can include clauses in your tenancy agreement relating to pets.

You should check whether your tenants have or want to have a pet.  If the answer to this is ‘yes’ and the approval of the owners corporation is required, then you should assist your tenants in procuring that approval.

If your building does not permit pets then you must make this quite clear to your tenants.

Don’t forget your obligation to:

  • send your tenants a copy of the by-laws: the legislation requires this to be done within 7 days of the tenants becoming entitled to possession but it is also a good idea to attach the by-laws to the tenancy agreement; and
  • give the owners corporation notice of the lease or tenancy agreement: the legislation requires the notice to include information about the tenants (name, date of agreement and name of agent) and for the notice to be given within 14 days of the tenant becoming entitled to possession.