Common tenant complaints - Animals

The issue of animals being kept in unit dwellings has long been an emotive topic which has generated heated debate among both tenants and the wider community.


People either love them (animals) or hate them,

Common complaints in relation to animals stem from dogs barking and cats jumping across balconies or defecating in common areas.

It’s now much more common to have pets in multi-unit dwellings.

A body corporate can't reasonably refuse to allow someone to keep a pet.

If it’s a large dog and a small apartment, that may be seen as "unreasonable”, but if it’s an appropriate pet for the apartment, a body corporate can't say ‘no’.”

Under the law, a landlord can prevent a tenant from housing a pet as the legal owner of the unit, however a body corporate can’t.

He says there has been a lot of debate around what’s considered to be ‘reasonable’ and what isn’t, in accordance with the wording of the by-laws.

There were previously conditions, such as the pet being no bigger than 10 kilograms, but it depends on the size of the apartment and the level the apartment is on.

Restricting it to just one pet is also considered unreasonable as once again it’s all about the size of the apartment and whether it’s appropriate for the circumstances.

The regulation simply states ‘the body corporate cannot act unreasonably’ which can be a little ambiguous.

Generally, we find if a body corporate allows a pet under certain conditions, there’s no problem. It’s when they dig in their heels and say ‘no pets’, then we have issues with owners getting upset and that’s when disputes happen.

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Jason Gwerder
Monday, 29 March 2021

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