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Pets in strata gets the ok

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The NSW Court of Appeal has now confirmed that a by-law containing a blanket prohibition on the keeping of pets in a strata scheme is invalid because it is harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.

In a decision that has wider implications for all strata by-laws and that may indicate that an owners corporation’s by-law making power is not as wide as previously thought, in Cooper v The Owners – Strata Plan No 58068 [2020] NSWCA 250, the Court of Appeal struck down a by-law banning pets and in the process said that a by-law banning an activity on a lot where that activity has no impact on other lots or the common property, will be held to be invalid because it is harsh, unconscionable or oppressive under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. The Court of Appeal also said that the fact a lot owner knew or should have known about a by-law when they bought their lot was not grounds for saying that they could not challenge the by-law.

This decision should bring clarity to the law on this subject but it remains to be seen whether there will be another appeal, this time to the High Court of Australia. Stay tuned!

To find out more about pets, by-laws or this case, please contact us.

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