Pet rights in body corporates coming today.

johnboy 26 August 2008 30

When I kicked off a debate about a right to have companion animals in body corporates and rental properties I wasn’t actually aware that Andrew Barr had already fired the starters’ gun on the issue and had introduced the Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2008 which, amongst other things, addresses part of this issue.

With debate on the Bill today the RSPCA has announced how pleased they are.

Of particular interest is this bit:

    Clause 12 – New sections 51A to 51C – creates sections 51A, 51B and 51C.
    Section 51A Animals – owners corporation’s consent the provision provides that an owners corporation must not unreasonably withhold consent for the keeping of an animal by the unit owner or occupier. An owners corporation can impose conditions on the consent.

    The provision was previously provided for in the default articles in the Unit Titles regulations however the provisions have been moved into the Act to ensure the rights of a unit owner, to keep animals or allow animals to be kept in a unit, are protected. The Unit Titles regulation provided that an owners corporation could amend its articles to preclude any right of any unit owner to keep an animal.

    The unit owner can apply to the ACAT if a dispute arises about the keeping of an animal.

Which just leaves a right to reasonable pet ownership in rental properties. 37% of our poll respondents reckon it’s a vote clincher for whoever runs on it (and another 25% consider it important but not decisive).

Our opponents are sad, old, will never change their vote, and will die soon. So who do you really want to be lining up with?


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30 Responses to Pet rights in body corporates coming today.
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Granny Granny 1:12 pm 28 Aug 08

Thumper said :

Hell young adults like myself are certainly better at destroying rentals with parties then any animal

And thus the owner should have the final say.

For instance, if they are bogans with a LH Torana you will end up with a 308 engine block leaking oil all over your garage floor and your sink will be used for holding petrol to clean 450 Holley carburettors.

Wrong!!

It will be leaking all over your lounge room carpet ….

*tee hee*

G-Fresh G-Fresh 1:08 pm 28 Aug 08

A pet right I would want might be to know all others unit entitlements in the property.

Thumper Thumper 12:32 pm 28 Aug 08

hehe, my cats eat live Chihuahauas for dinner every night.

jakez jakez 12:23 pm 28 Aug 08

Chihuahaua hair?

HAHA get a real dog before you talk about damage.

ant ant 12:16 pm 28 Aug 08

Piratemonkey said :

The way i see it animals and young children are both roughly even in their ability to destroy things. Especially when it comes to carpets at least.

If we are going to be allowed to discriminate against one surely we can discriminate against the other. Wait we can’t hmmmm :-s

Hell young adults like myself are certainly better at destroying rentals with parties then any animal.

Spot on, Pirate. Young kids and late teens/young “adults” have a much better track record in wrecking places than pet animals.

I was eyeing my house the other day, to see what damage my dogs have done. Well, they put fur everywhere (mostly on any black clothes I own, I was still finding chihuahua hair on things 4 months into a US stint). And the boy has been gnawing my Ikea footstool to get me to stop sewing and play with him (I was seated on the footstool at the time). And that’s about it.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 10:35 am 28 Aug 08

I once rented a house in Turner where the Hills hoist was on a rather unusual angle – it got that way because the previous tenants had used it to “lift” an engine block out of their Valiant.

Thumper Thumper 9:42 am 28 Aug 08

Hell young adults like myself are certainly better at destroying rentals with parties then any animal

And thus the owner should have the final say.

For instance, if they are bogans with a LH Torana you will end up with a 308 engine block leaking oil all over your garage floor and your sink will be used for holding petrol to clean 450 Holley carburettors.

jakez jakez 9:38 am 28 Aug 08

Piratemonkey said :

The way i see it animals and young children are both roughly even in their ability to destroy things. Especially when it comes to carpets at least.

If we are going to be allowed to discriminate against one surely we can discriminate against the other. Wait we can’t hmmmm :-s

I think people should be able to set up ‘no children’ body corporates as well.

Piratemonkey Piratemonkey 11:15 pm 27 Aug 08

The way i see it animals and young children are both roughly even in their ability to destroy things. Especially when it comes to carpets at least. If we are going to be allowed to discriminate against one surely we can discriminate against the other. Wait we can’t hmmmm :-s

Hell young adults like myself are certainly better at destroying rentals with parties then any animal.

In an environment where the market is so tight I think its ridiculous that people can be discriminated against over such a non issue. Especially the elderly who clearly need the companionship and who find it the hardest to move. If there is damage to a property the ranter has to pay, what they do or have in their apartment is their own business.

jakez jakez 9:12 pm 26 Aug 08

Clown Killer said :

Monster, I think that this current round of legislative amendments is about stopping body corporates from interfering with the contractual arrangements of landlords and tenants or of the rights of owner-occupiers to kep pets.

Mmm, yes I haven’t read the fine print myself so all comments I make are framed by that ignorance. Body Corporates are frustrating things. I guess people buy into a body corporate so they buy into those circumstances. I’d hate to live in one though, they sound so awful.

What will probably come down the track is the removal of pet-ownership as a reason to discriminate against a tenant.

Now that’s what I would have a problem with.

fabforty fabforty 8:18 pm 26 Aug 08

I’m not sure I agree with this legislation but I am yet to read the fine print. Animals, especially dogs, don’t belong in small apartments where they are dependant on their owners/carers to ensure daily fresh air and exercise. Lots of people lead busy lives.

I agree with people in rental houses and townhouses (with yards or coutryards) being able to have pets but is there any restriction on the size of the unit and the number of pets ?

I think there needs to be a better balance between any person’s right to have pets/the rights of pets to quality of life and the rights of landlords.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 7:58 pm 26 Aug 08

Monster, I think that this current round of legislative amendments is about stopping body corporates from interfering with the contractual arrangements of landlords and tenants or of the rights of owner-occupiers to kep pets.

What will probably come down the track is the removal of pet-ownership as a reason to discriminate against a tenant.

Years ago, I acquired a dog in a rental in Turner that was supposedly “pet free”. The Agent called by to have a whinge because the owner had apparently spotted the dog on a drive by. We simply told them to put up or shut up and never heard from agent or owner again. Now that I have a number of similar investments myself I cant fathom why you’d bother making a fuss about pets – in the scheme of things they’re a non-issue.

I-filed I-filed 7:02 pm 26 Aug 08

Johnboy: “When I kicked off a debate…”

Credit to rioter bec I think on this, who raised the topic of pets in apartments on August 2 …

Monster of the Deep Monster of the Deep 6:16 pm 26 Aug 08

I’m not the most experienced with renting properties, having only lived in two previously… But as a person whose cat count has now risen to three, any change in legislation about pet ownership in rental properties is a good thing. I’m not sure but I don’t think the changes outlined above will affect me though.

When we move back to Canberra we’re either going to have to hide the existence of our cats yet again (something I don’t enjoy but is necessary and harmless to the rental property) or hold out until there’s a ‘pets considered’ property that every other animal-inclined person in Canberra will be holding out for.

jakez jakez 4:23 pm 26 Aug 08

S4anta said :

And I am about as far away from a freaking young liberal as you are to the left wing JB.

So you are saying you are a young liberal then? 😉

S4anta S4anta 2:27 pm 26 Aug 08

I am with Jakez. The chances of anyone telling me that I am not allowed to ensure that there are no animals in my rentals is nil.

And I am about as far away from a freaking young liberal as you are to the left wing JB.

jakez jakez 2:12 pm 26 Aug 08

johnboy said :

jakez you’re making the same argument made by con men who’d like consumer protection laws to go away and the racist landlords of not very long ago at all.

Do you ever take a look at the company you keep?

You are attempting to equate the fundamental safety of a building with pet ownership. You are attempting to equate a persons race, with pet ownership.

Patently absurd propositions. Not only am I an old sad man, now I am an old sad man who seeks counsel in racists and con men. The ad hominems and straw mans continue unabated.

As for those instances. Fraud is a crime, a legitimate crime, and is clearly within a libertarian framework.

The con men should pay the price for their fraud, and the racist landlord should pay societies price in ostracision and loss of monetary reward. Both situations can be handled by market forces and a just legal system that protects property and body.

jakez jakez 2:06 pm 26 Aug 08

caf said :

jakez: Given that all property in the ACT is leased, the ultimate property owner in most cases is the ACT Government. So by your own doctrine, they have the right to impose this legislation – or even to dictate the colour you must paint your kitchen.

Very good Caf, very good. I am quite impressed. That is probably the best argument out there.

Outside of the framework of accepting that legitimacy, I’ll say that I obviously have significant problems with the way the ACT is set up with regard to land. I’m not sure that philosophically I accept the role of Government as a landowner and thus hold them to task accordingly. Considering the way Government’s acquire land, the principles of homesteading, and the ‘rights’ that a Government’s people have with land are complex and it’s probably easier for me to concede the point rather than muddy the waters.

As such, one can’t look up at the clouds all day and pretend. We are under that framework and have to deal with it as best as we can. I haven’t looked at the Act since I studied Property Law so I can’t exactly remember what the terms of the leases are, however let’s say that they could do as you suggest. I would separate the political realm from the private realm by saying that I hold the Government to a classical liberal framework while accepting that they very well can pass this legislation.

With the Government, I think it’s illegitimate on an abstract level. With a private person, I think it is wrong to stop people from having pets but would not step in to prevent it.

My point here is not to suggest that the Government can’t. In engaging johnboy I’m engaging with a person who believes that tenants have a right to pets, not someone who is arguing that a land owner (the Govt) has the right to tell the tenant (the ‘owner) that the sub tenant (tenant) has the right to have pets.

…got that? I’m not sure I do. The Government’s use of language betrays the fraud of the real situation. Many people don’t realise how things are set up in the ACT and I find that concerning.

So I address my arguments to johnboy in that manner and they should be understood as such. I accept that the Government can make these rules, but I do not accept that the Government is the same thing as a person, and as such I don’t think they should make these rules.

Beyond all that philosophical wankery, I’d suggest that pluralism and tolerance is a noble goal and that it is the mark of a good society that old sad bastards can live together in a pet free environment, if they so desire. (see the old thread for an expanded argument of this nature).

johnboy johnboy 1:43 pm 26 Aug 08

jakez you’re making the same argument made by con men who’d like consumer protection laws to go away and the racist landlords of not very long ago at all.

Do you ever take a look at the company you keep?

Clown Killer Clown Killer 1:41 pm 26 Aug 08

Beware the wooden horse presented as a gift. Next it will be rent control.

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