Cats in apartments

bec 2 August 2008 56

Hi, I wanted to add a comment to the ‘Cats in Apartments’ discussion.

I have been contacted today by my real estate agent for the apartment I rent and they have received a letter about my cat from someone, presumably in consultation with the body corporate.

Having read the discussion here it is nice to know that other people are aware of this incredibly unfair and nasty situation. I’m so disappointed that there seems to be no way of fighting it. I have had my cat for the past 5 years in rentals in the ACT and WA and have never had a problem. I’ve always had 100% of my bond back because my cat doesn’t cause any damage.

A one size fits all rule that does not take into account the type of pet and type of owners is ludicrous. Not many people choose to rent because they want to and if they do its usually because they don’t have a choice. I know lessors will think ”boo hoo for you ” but I really see this as a fundamental human right and the fact that my pet doesn’t do any damage or harm just makes it so unfair.

I’m more than happy to take into account any considerations that effect land lords and most cat most pet owners would be quite prepared to pay any associated costs. If they don’t then apply the ban, on an individual basis.

Its hard enough with the rental and housing situation in Canberra as others have mentioned without another thing that making it even harder. So I will sit in my overpriced rental without my pet. Does that make them happy? I do hope they get good returns for their ‘pet free’ investment.

I can’t see that there will be any change as those with the money always have the power and so its just not an issue a politician would go into bat for, please correct me if I’m wrong. Another writer mentioned a cut of 23 August to do something – can someone tell me what this is?

I’m going to fight a losing battle with the BC I just know it, but maybe I’ll have a few more precious weeks/days with the cat that has seen me through so much… I really don’t know what’s worse, losing my cat or breaking the lease (which is simply not an option) and going back to square one of the Canberra rental market… neither of which I can afford.


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Roma Roma 1:38 pm 07 Aug 08

Not sure if this would be of any help but it just occured to me that when i was renting that even lease agreements that state “no pets” usually also have a clause that states that should the tenant wish to have a pet on the property they need to ask permission from the agent or landlord, and that there would have to be an incredibly compelling reason to refuse the request. Let me have a bit of a hunt around and see if I can find something along these lines online.

(IMO, if your lease doesnt explicitly say No Pets then you could probably tell them to GGF’ed)

ant ant 10:40 pm 03 Aug 08

It’s quite bizarre how these body corporates (or bodies corporate) can make rules about peoples’ own homes (units and townhouses). It’s one thing to cause disturbance (noise, smells), and most would agree that it’s important to prevent that, but the wholesale banning of pets is not fair, and it causes pain to too many people.

Granny Granny 6:30 pm 03 Aug 08

I reckon you should take a poll on it, johnboy. Body corporates were surely invented by the demon Crowley of Good Omens infamy.

simbo simbo 6:15 pm 03 Aug 08

Yep, you might want to remember John has a career that goes back slightly longer than the last 12 months, VG…

johnboy johnboy 5:38 pm 03 Aug 08

vg said :

“From a bloke who has what legal background, a South Coast newspaper?”

That and the best part of a decade reporting on policy and legislative development at both commonwealth and state level, often in terms of how it will affect their contracts, for the nation’s banks, telcos, super funds and law firms.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 5:30 pm 03 Aug 08

Killjoy 😉

johnboy johnboy 5:29 pm 03 Aug 08

@ Ingeegoodbee – Next time cut the personal abuse when attacking an argument, even when it’s VG.

johnboy johnboy 5:27 pm 03 Aug 08

Yes VG

Well done.

You now realise I was talking about a change in legislation all along. Glad you’re finally on the page.

You believe it won’t be a goer politically.

I reckon otherwise, or at least that I would join others in supporting it.

This is called political debate and we’re still allowed to have it you know.

Now don’t try and tell me it can’t be done when what you mean is you don’t want it to be done.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 5:26 pm 03 Aug 08

You’ve been told Johnboy. It’s no use arguing. Not an expert at stuffing donuts into his cakehole, vg is also an expert in any area of the law that you can possibly image – and if you can think up a new area of law – he’s already an expert in that too.

Funily enough, if you had a “No passive-agressive cry-babies” clause the poor prick would be homeless…

vg vg 5:17 pm 03 Aug 08

“VG, you really have no idea what you are talking about here.”

From a bloke who has what legal background, a South Coast newspaper?

Current legislation, as it stands, does not effect current AWA’s. That was my point.

You seem to be agitating for a change in legislation, which is the only way to effect a change lease-wise.

No sensible politician will give a rat’s. You might have all the renters on one side but guess what’s on the other. Rental property owners, body corporate members and the general machinations of the housing and rental industry.

Good luck. If I have no idea give yours a run. It’ll last about 20 secs

johnboy johnboy 3:58 pm 03 Aug 08

VG, you really have no idea what you are talking about here.

Current AWAs could have been abolished but it was determined to be politically too fraught to do so. That was a political consideration.

In any event given that under the tenancy act we can all get out of our leases rather easily, regardless of what nonsense might have been typed into the lease (most of which are typo-ridden for those who bother to read through them) it won’t be too hard to get a new lease under any new laws.

So once all new leases have to address companion animals under reasonable terms (assuming a sensible politician picks up this strong sleeper issue) renters either wait to the end of the year or move pretty much as soon as they can organise it, getting what they want.

Even so, a motivated government can choose at any time to legislate away any contract provision at any time, it just might have to compensate.

Now you could, if you were sensible, argue that the political dangers of forcing landlords to accept companion animals would be dangerous for a major party.

But that is why we have elections.

caf caf 2:59 pm 03 Aug 08

I feel sorry this wanker who rolls up at night in bed, affectionatly snuggling his rule book when he could otherwise be patting a nice little pussy.

Poolroom.

vg vg 2:45 pm 03 Aug 08

Correct JB, FUTURE leases. A bit like the recent Federal Govt changes didn’t affect CURRENT AWA’s.

If the lease doesn’t say no pets then it depends on whether what the body corporate says could be interpreted as some sort of contract. I will say that tenancy law isn’t a field of expertise of mine, and someone who specialises in it would be best to give advice. That being said if you signed something you would be screwed. Even not signing something can hurt if you. If you were made aware of body corp conditions, still didn’t sign anything, and it can be proven you were made aware of it then it would operate nearly the same as if you signed a contract. This is my interpretation of contract law, so a specialist may be best to advise.

I would hate to see the OP expend a lot of money fighting a battle that can’t be won. The outcome would only be untidy for all and when the lease next came up for renewal they would be politely asked to leave. I do hope it works out for the OP though, I would just hate to see them get burnt worse than they already have in the hope that someone somewhere will change things to help them out

el el 1:34 pm 03 Aug 08

But vg – what if there isn’t a ‘no pets’ clause in the lease, as has been stated?

johnboy johnboy 1:32 pm 03 Aug 08

And every revision to the tenancy act can over-ride all future leases.

It happens every what? 10 years?

vg vg 1:13 pm 03 Aug 08

johnboy said :

vg said :

You can ask your MLA all you like but its a little thing called contract law. The landlord can put anything they like in the contrac. If you sign the contract you are accepting its terms. You are not forced to sign ergo the conditions stand.

To be honest if/when I have an investment/rental property no pets will be one of the clauses. Sure I guess a lot of pets have no real impact on a property but the clause isn’t in there for those pets, its for the people who’s pets cause damage to a property who don’t really care.

This is a battle you would fight and lose

Wow VG, you’re absolutely and completely wrong about this.

Legislation can over-ride contract law and does so frequently.

Consumer protection, public liability, and workplace relations being just three areas where this already happens on a daily basis that spring freely to mind.

Read what I wrote JB. I stated legislation can over-rule contract law under certain conditions. i.e. the contract is illegal, etc etc. There are a number of situations where this can occur.

This is not one of them.

“Consumer protection, public liability, and workplace relations being just three areas where this already happens on a daily basis that spring freely to mind.”

As I stated previously, but a legal, standard lease is not one of the above.

If you don’t believe me go and fight it and see what happens. Cost you a fortune, get punted out of the house, pay their costs etc etc

Ruby Wednesday Ruby Wednesday 12:57 pm 03 Aug 08

Were you provided with a copy of the BC rules when you signed the lease? One of the clauses of the lease is that you abide by the BC rules. They should have given you a copy of them at the time. I don’t know if you’d have any luck if that didn’t happen.

Granny Granny 12:45 pm 03 Aug 08

Pandy said :

Bec the law breaker.

What law is she breaking?

Her lease does not prohibit pets, and she signed it in good faith.

Now that she has been informed that there is a problem with the body corporate she is proceeding with several courses of appropriate action, including having her pet minded elsewhere while the issue is sorted.

Pandy Pandy 12:11 pm 03 Aug 08

Bec the law breaker.

Ant, tenacy law prevents discrimation that you are a woman with kids…. oh thats right you don’t like kids.

PigsFly PigsFly 11:49 am 03 Aug 08

Much as I am an animal lover, if I had an investment property that I was renting out then I would have no choice but to say “no pets”. I am seriously allergic to cats (though I find it hard to not want to pat one as I do like them) but find that I couldn’t just say “no cats” as that would be seen as playing favourites to someone with a dog. I would hope that whoever did rent the property didn’t lie to me as I’d be able to tell within an instant of coming in to inspect that there was a cat there.

I am really sorry to the OP that the BC forbids pets. I’ve been in that situation when I lived in Sydney, and so was forced to keep my gorgeous dog (a shitzu) at my parents. I asked, pleaded, begged, fought, yet the BC remained firm. I ended up moving out.

As someone mentioned before, find someone to take your cat in until you can find somewhere else. I would help except my allergies and my dogs here wouldn’t be in agreement.

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