Only one person on our strata board disagrees with allowing pets. How can I get this rule re-assessed? – Yaisha, NSW

Q: I am a renter and have just found out that there is only one person on our entire strata board that disagrees with allowing pets in the building, every other member has no problem with it. I assume this means it has to be a unanimous decision to be passed by the entire board as a building wide rule. How can I get this rule re-assessed to be in favour of allowing pets? Surely it has to count for something that only one person on the entire board disagrees with it!

– Yaisha, NSW

You may wish you to find out what is the concern that’s causing them to disagree – strata properties have all kinds of people and they may not all be pet-lovers. Some people may also be allergic to pets, so it is important to be sensitive to their concerns as well.

If your by-laws are unreasonably restrictive about pet ownership, you may apply to have these by-laws amended in an annual general meeting (AGM). This is finalised through majority owners vote and by passing a special resolution.

In New South Wales, you may be able to keep a pet in your strata property. However, you should check with your owners corporation and go through your by-laws regarding pet ownership and care.

Tenants should first seek approval from their landlord and ensure they adhere to the by-laws and rules. If the landlord or owner approves pet ownership, you could determine if they are willing on your behalf to file the motion to have the current by-laws amended.

NSW Fair Trading has more information on the subject that may offer more clarity. Take a look at this article on how you can navigate pet ownership in an owners corporation property.