Proposed Strata Reforms for Keeping Pets
In June of this year, the New South Wales Minister for Fair Trading, Mr Anthony Roberts announced in parliament proposed strata reforms affecting pet ownership.
The current model by-laws which may be adopted by new strata schemes provide 3 options for regulating pet ownership. If no option is selected at the time the strata scheme is formed, the default position is to ban pets unless the written approval of the owner’s corporation is obtained.
According to the Minister, this has meant that many strata schemes which adopted the model by-laws currently have a ban in place.
The Government proposes to amend the model-by laws to make the default position to allow pets to be kept subject to the approval of the executive committee which must not be unreasonably withheld. The Minster expects that that over time the reform will lead a rise in the number of pet friendly strata buildings in the city and State.
It is important to note that the default or model by-laws merely serve as an example of what new strata scheme can adopt. A strata scheme can still elect to adopt different by-laws to restrict or ban pets (with the exception of seeing/hearing impaired guide dogs) to suit its community.
The Minister intends to release a policy paper in the near future setting out the details of the proposed reform which will likely be effective in 2014.
The proposed reform does not appear to affect the position of existing strata schemes. This means that owners wishing to change their existing by-laws regarding pets will still require the support of 75% of owners at a general meeting to make the change.
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