What to do if an owner doesn't abide by the rules/bylaws regarding their pet?

Published: Tuesday 15 March 2022

Whilst most pet owners are fantastic at looking after their furry or fluffy friends, unfortunately there are a few who seem to either have no clue or simply do not care.  So, what can be done when the bad pet owner does not consider everyone else living in the scheme and their and their furry friend causes grief to others living in the scheme?

To approve a pet, with conditions, will require a bylaw which states what those terms are.  The good strata lawyers in our industry can provide excellent advice on what are usual and sensible terms.  This is particularly important given the decisions in the court on this matter.  As we all know, you cannot have a blanket bylaw that does not allow any pets, and therefore the key is to be ahead of the curve and manage the type of animals and breeds etc you allow into your property.  The lawyer will help you outline the acceptable behaviour and management so when a pet is approved the owner is aware what is required if they wish to keep their dog, cat, bird etc.  Thus the pet owner knows what is required before they purchase or bring their pet to your scheme.

What to do when a resident fails to comply.  A breach of bylaw notice should be issued, just as a committee/owners corporation would regarding a breach for noise, illegal parking or any other bylaw you have to ensure residents can live harmoniously together.  It is important before you head down this path, to get good legal advice on how to enforce your bylaw particularly if it is the first time your scheme is issuing a notice on that bylaws’ enforcement.  They should outline the evidence which will be required to almost guarantee you win your case once you are at the Tribunal.  You will need people who are willing to sign affidavits and give statements on the witness stand along with photos, documents, diary notes etc.

You don’t want to be fed up and engage a lawyer to seek the maximum fine, only to then find that you do not have what the Tribunal require to be successful.  Spend a little up front to ensure you get it right and this will save you money long term. 

If you would like the name of a good strata lawyer, please give us a call on (02) 93899 599.