Huge news for pet owners in NSW as a surprise NSW Court of Appeal ruling means blanket bans on pets in apartment buildings can no longer be enforced.
The ruling was made after three sitting judges unanimously agreed blanket bans on pets were “harsh, unconscionable and oppressive”.
In their decision-making, the court acknowledged pets do not adversely affect other occupants’ lots, but rather that existing pet bans seemed to be related to the convenience of strata committees, ABC News reports.
Now, as a result of the ruling, no apartment buildings in the state will be able to put a ban on pets in the home, and when we say pets, we mean everything from dogs and cats to hermit crabs.
“The effect of this is extremely far-reaching,” said Barrister Richard Gration, according to Domain. “It’s now not possible to have a blanket ban on animals. If there is to be any ban, then it has to be tailored to protect the amenity of other lot owners, so a bylaw can only exist to restrict, say, barking dogs or screeching cockatoos.
“This does put limits on the extent that owners can democratically create rules for their own buildings, and bylaws now can’t be used for anything people do in their own lot that doesn’t affect others,” he continued, adding:
“It’s now going to be difficult for those who have genuine fears or dogs, or who are very allergic to dog and cat hair.”
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Currently, the terms are not as clear for renters.
In NSW, a standard residential tenancy agreement gives landlords the option to refuse or restrict pet types, and include requirements for professional carpet cleaning at the conclusion of a lease.
Still, the NSW Court of Appeal ruling is a huge win for pet and property owners.