The New South Wales Court of Appeal has struck down an attempt
from one of Sydney's most famous apartment buildings to ban pets.
Bartier Perry partner Sharon Levy
says a unanimous decision from three Court of Appeal judges on The Horizon’s
longstanding attempt to ban animals from the building was a breach of
"This decision effectively changes the way
owners corporations can govern their strata schemes,” said Ms. Levy, whose firm
represented Jo Cooper, the owner of a 13-year-old miniature schnauzer named
"The court has found that banning animals
breaches strata scheme legislation which provides that by-laws can’t be
"harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.”
Ms. Levy said the decision of Angus’ owner Ms. Cooper to fight a lengthy legal
battle to keepAngus in her apartment had not only been vindicated but was
also set to impact thousands of apartment owners across the State.
Horizon has reportedly spent $500,000 on
"This ruling may have far wider ramifications as to the by-laws owners
corporations can impose on apartment owners. Every dog has its day but Angus’
win could mean some significant changes and legal challenges to by-laws for
years to come,” said Ms. Levy.
Ms. Cooper said she was overwhelmed by the court decision after a five year
legal battle to keep Angus in her apartment.
"The emotional toll from pursuing this case has been incredibly hard. Yet
throughout the last five years, I’ve also lost count of the number of pet
and apartment owners who have reached out and supported our stance.
Today is a win for Angus but it’s also a decision that will hopefully ensure
owners corporations take a more balanced approach to the governing of apartment
owners,” said MsCooper.
Around 5.7 million of Australia’s 9.2 million households have a pet.
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Wednesday, 14 October 2020