Five common myths about pets and unit complexes

Many people are unsure of their rights about keeping a pet in their unit complex. Here, we clear up five common myths about where you and your best fur-friend stand.

1.  If the bylaws say no pets, then you can never have a pet.
Not true. A recent court case found that if the bylaws say no pets are allowed, this simply means you can’t have pets without the consent of the body corporate.
2.  The body corporate can refuse to allow you to have a pet.
Not true. A body corporate must act reasonably when considering whether you can have a pet. Recent court cases suggest body corporates must allow pets except in very limited circumstances.
3.  If a body corporate has previously refused pets to other owners, then they can refuse requests from future owners.
Not true. Previous decisions allowing pets will assist you in getting a consent, but previous decisions not allowing pets will have no bearing on your request.
4.  The body corporate can limit the size of the dog to under 10 kg.
Not true. A recent case allowed a 26kg dog, so while there will be limits (horses are probably out), most dogs and cats will be allowed.
5.  We are near a nature reserve so pets will not be allowed.
Not true. If the complex is near a nature reserve, there may be a government restriction on pets being allowed on certain parts of the common property, but it won’t restricts pets that are kept inside.