Model by-law for pets

Apartment buildings are becoming more pet-friendly but some owners are concerned that it’s getting out of hand with no controls over pets.

The Office of Fair Trading’s model by-laws say you can’t have pets unless they’re permitted by the executive Committee but adds that permission can’t be withheld unreasonably. Many readers have asked for a sample by-law that allows pets but keeps them (and their owners) on a short leash.

So here is a copy of my building’s by-law (No 13) which is quite specific about the kinds of pets allowed and the behaviour expected by the owners. It has been effective because everyone knows exactly where they stand.

By-Law: Keeping an animal
What animals may you keep?
13.1 Subject to this by-law, you may keep:
(a) goldfish or other similar fish in an indoor aquarium; or
(b) a guide dog if you need the dog because you are visually or hearing impaired.
13.2 You must have consent from the Owners Corporation to keep other types or numbers of animals.
13.3 The Owners Corporation will not give you consent to keep:
(a) a medium or large size dog;
(b) a dog that is vicious, aggressive, noisy or difficult to control;
(c) a dog that is not registered under the Companion Animals Act
(d) a dangerous dog under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW).
13.4 Subject to bylaw 13.5, if you keep an animal under this bylaw you must ensure that the animals does not wander on to another Lot or Common Property
13.5 If it is necessary to take your animal onto Common Property (eg to transport if out of Altair), you must restrain it (eg by leash or pet cage) and control it at all times.
Conditions for keeping an animal
13.6 The Owners Corporation may make conditions if it gives you consent to keep an animal.
13.7 A condition that automatically applies if you keep an animal under this by-law is that the Owners Corporation has the right at any time to order you to remove your animal if:
(a) it becomes offensive, vicious, aggressive, noisy or a nuisance;
(b) you do not comply with your obligations under this by-law;
(c) you breach a condition made by the Owners Corporation when it gave you consent to keep the animal; or
(d) if you keep a dog, your dog is a dangerous dog or is not registered under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW).
13.8 You are responsible:
(a) to other owners and occupiers and people using Common Property for:
(i) any noise your animal makes which causes unreasonable disturbance; and
(ii) damage to or loss of property or injury to any person caused by your animal
(b) for cleaning up after your animal
Your visitors
13.9 You must not allow your visitors to bring animals into Altair unless they are guide dogs or hearing dogs and your visitors are visually or hearing impaired.

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