Pet ban in NSW apartments set to lift with the passing of new laws

Residents of NSW apartments are another step closer towards being allowed to legally keep a pet with the passing of a crucial law in parliament last week.


The Legislative Council has finally agreed to amend the Strata Schemes Management Act, making it illegal for strata buildings to unreasonably ban the keeping of animals.

Last October, the Court of Appeal ruled in the landmark Horizon building case that resident Jo Cooper was allowed to keep her miniature schnauzer Angus after a costly four-and-a-half-year battle.

Leading strata lawyer Amanda Farmer, of Sydney legal practice Lawyers Chambers welcomed the clarity brought by the new law, which will take effect later this year.

"The lack of legislative reform after the Horizon case caused a lot of confusion as many people mistakenly believed the issue was settled from that point onwards,” she said.

"I’ve had a continual stream of residents in the last four months telling me they don’t know what’s going on and bemused that apartments still have pet bans.

"It’s taken a while, but the passing of this new legislation now recognises the changed community attitude towards the keeping of pets in apartments and is a vindication for animal-lovers everywhere.”

Ms. Farmer said that, with the law soon to be in force, strata committees should not be unreasonably refusing applications by residents to keep pets.

"Enforcing a blanket pet ban and refusing to allow a pet without a very good reason at this point is just delaying the inevitable.

This law will come into force soon, and when it does any by-laws or decisions about pets considered ‘unreasonable’ will be of no effect.”


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Jason Gwerder
Monday, 22 March 2021

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