Keeping Pets in a Community Titles Scheme
A common issue for clients looking to purchase a lot in a community titles scheme is whether they can keep a pet on the lot. Lot owners and occupiers within a scheme may also have this issue arise, and disputes with a body corporate may not always be solved informally.
While a body corporate can regulate the keeping of animals, by-laws contained in the Community Management Statement of a scheme which prohibit owners from keeping pets may be deemed to be unreasonable.
The Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) provides that a body corporate must act reasonably in everything it does and in every decision it makes. This means that by-laws must not be unreasonable or oppressive. When deciding whether a by-law is unreasonable, the interests of the lot owners and occupiers within the body corporate must be taken into account. Potential purchasers and lot owners and occupiers therefore need to consider whether their pet is likely to cause nuisance to other members of the body corporate, or if there is any other factor which would mean that it would be reasonable to prohibit them from keeping a pet on their lot.
While a body corporate cannot impose a blanket ban on keeping pets, it is able to exclude particular animals if it has reasonable cause to do so.
Also note that the body corporate can require lot owners and occupiers to obtain the consent of the body corporate committee before keeping a particular pet on their lot, however each application needs to be assessed on its merits. While the body corporate would have a duty to act reasonably when assessing applications to keep pets, it may impose reasonable conditions when giving its approval.
If you would like further information on the process for applying for body corporate approval to keep your pet, or for legal advice regarding disputes arising from pets kept within community titles schemes, please do not hesitate to contact Miller Sockhill Lawyers.
Located in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Miller Sockhill Lawyers regularly advise clients on property law matters.