State News

Peak Strata body reminds all prospective Strata owners to familiarise themselves with bylaws

As publicised – Pet saga continues to play out after court decision.

The peak body representing an estimated two million strata dwellers in New South Wales is today reminding all prospective owners to review the bylaws of any strata titled property prior to purchase.

Strata Community Association (NSW) today iterated that despite the “pet-friendly” amendments to strata legislation, animals are still not automatically permitted in strata schemes even if they are kept wholly within the boundaries of an individual’s apartment.

In June this year, two of Sydney’s biggest apartment towers won their court battled to ban owner’s pets from their buildings – receiving a mixed and rather confused reaction from other strata residents.

Interestingly, both the 260-apartment Horizon in Darlinghurst and the 280-unit Elan in Kings Cross had lost the right in previous cases before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), to enforce their bylaws to keep their premises animal free. A decision now overturned.

SCA (NSW) State President, Chris Duggan says that strata bylaws can be complex and need to be reviewed pragmatically, prior to signing along any dotted lines.

“I’m often asked what the ‘keeping of animals’ position and ‘pet rules’ are for strata and I think it’s important that people understand there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

“I recommend they review the registered bylaws to any particular scheme.

“Owners corporations can choose to adopt model bylaws, or they can draft changes to make them manage issues in strata like overcrowding, pets, parking, and smoke drift to suit their scheme.

“Schemes aren’t actually required to adopt or adapt any of the model bylaws, they’re simply made available to assist them address common issues,” Mr Duggan said.

The model bylaws provide owners corporations with options to control whether pets are allowed, and on what terms.

For example, the owners corporation may choose to have a bylaw which:

  • bans pets on the property altogether (other than assistance animals)
  • allows owners to keep a pet and simply provide 14 days’ notice from when the pet has started living on the lot owner’s property, or
  • allows a pet with the written permission of the owners corporation

“We always recommend doing your research before deciding to move into a strata scheme, whether you own a pet, own several vehicles or expect exclusive use of storage.

“While some mightn’t agree with certain bylaws, they are only enforced through a democratic process which governs the schemes they relate to,” Mr Duggan said.

If any scheme proposes changes to the bylaws, these must be put to a special resolution vote at a owners corporation meeting. The new bylaws also need to be registered with NSW Land Registry Services within six months after the special resolution has been passed.



About Strata Community Association

Strata Community Association (NSW) is the peak industry body for Strata and Community Title Management in New South Wales. Membership includes strata managers, support staff, committee members and suppliers of products and services to the industry. SCA (NSW) has in excess of 3,000 members who help oversee, advise or manage a combined property portfolio with an estimated replacement value of over $400 Billion. SCA (NSW) proudly fulfils the dual roles of a professional institute and consumer advocate.