25 August 2021

PRESS RELEASE: Pets protected – new apartment laws rolled out today

See also related story on the Today show - Big shake-up to state's rental law explained (26 August 2021)

New legislation enacted in New South Wales today will prevent strata and owner’s corporations banning animals unless they “unreasonably interfere” with other apartment owners use and enjoyment.

Bartier Perry partner Sharon Levy who acted on a landmark court case which forced the law
change said the legislation was welcome clarification for both pet owners and the committees
managing apartment blocks.

“From today an owner’s corporation will not be able to have a by-law which unreasonably
prohibits the keeping of an animal,” said Ms Levy. “It will also be deemed reasonable to keep
an animal unless it unreasonably interferes with another occupant’s use and enjoyment of the
occupant’s lot or the common property.

Helpfully, the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Pets) Regulation 2021 (Regulation)
prescribes the circumstances in which the keeping of an animal will unreasonably interfere
with another occupant’s use and enjoyment.”

These included an animal chasing or menacing other occupants, excessive noise or odour or
causing damage to the property.

The new legislation follows a long-running legal battle by Jo Cooper to keep her dog at her
Sydney CBD apartment. In October Ms Cooper won her case in the NSW Court of Appeal.

“Jo has fought so long and so hard for this outcome and hers is a huge win for all pet owners
in the State,” said Ms Levy.

“Since her case, we have seen a number of owner’s corporations introduce by-laws imposing
limitations on owners as to the number of animals permitted, or the weight, size and breed of
animals allowed,” she said

“It is worth noting that the new Regulation does not impose these kinds of restrictions.”

Ms Levy said despite the legislation she expected some disputes may still occur around what
was ‘unreasonable interference’.