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Pets in Apartments… help

By laureah21 - 18 May 2011 21

I am looking at buying an apartment I really don’t mind where it is located, the closer to the centre the better.

Having alot of trouble finding ANYWHERE that will accept pets.  I have a very quiet clean little cat that I brought all the way back from London and she is part of the family so will not be getting rid of her.  Do prefer apartments at the moment, as have no children and am happy just to have a few pot plants, not a huge garden to deal with.

Does anyone know of which apartment complexes in Canberra allow pets?

Many Thanks

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Pets in Apartments… help
Holditz 2:44 pm 18 May 11

I went to my Unit’s Body Corporate AGM last night- apparently the rules have changed. It seems that owners of units can own pets without needing to refer the matter to the Body Corporate if it’s approved in the Body Corporate rules. Someone in the know might clarify this better.

Appropos (from the AGM Agenda):

Due to recent amendments to the Unit Titles Act; pets are no longer an amendable
article, but a new part of legislation – under Section 51A. This amendment to the Act
states that every pet application must be considered by the Owners’ Corporation
and consent cannot be unreasonably withheld. As this part of legislation makes no
allowance for Executive Committee consent; approval must be obtained from the
Owners’ Corporation via ordinary resolution. This will mean that owners seeking
approval for pets will be forced to attend a meeting during business hours in order
for the approval to be granted. As a matter of efficiency and convenience we
propose a blanket approval is given to pets subject to conditions stated in the
motion below.

MOTION 8
“That any owner be granted permission, without prior approval from the Owners’
Corporation, to keep a pet at their unit provided details of the pet (breed, age,
number of pets etc) are notified to the Managing Agent with the written consent of
adjoining owners. The owner will be responsible for any damage caused to the
common property by the pet and permission may be withdrawn by ordinary
resolution of the Owners’ Corporation if the pet becomes a nuisance to other
residents in accordance with any law in force in the Territory.”

Chop71 2:40 pm 18 May 11

Forever be the slave to your BC.

troll-sniffer 2:30 pm 18 May 11

Owning is waaaay different to renting. Basically, if you own a property, and can establish that your pet pre-exists your purchase, and does not cause harm or unreasonable annoyance to other residents, you can pretty safely just buy, move in and bring your cat. Even if someone in the body corporate opposes and brings it up, the chances of the body corporate taking action are next to nil, as they have to justify the cost of legal enforcement vs the apparent ‘harm’ to the complex. Even in my complex we had an owner deliberately purchase a dog against the rules and each time it was raised the bc voted to ‘monitor the situation’ rather than fork out the $5000+ to get a court judgement.

If you buy, then deliberately purchase a pet knowing the rules, the bc might well have a case to enforce a no pets policy.

If however you are renting, it’s a different kettle of fish. The landlord can and will enforce a no-pets ruling, and it doesn’t need to be spelled out in the lease contract to be enforced as it’s in the body corporate rules as quoted above. With the owner’s permission and the bc permission you can hope to get approval for a rental situation but it’s highly unlikely you’ll get it. We had a lady who rented and after a few weeks turned up with three cats. Within a fortnight of the owner being notified she was gone.

Moose 1:32 pm 18 May 11

FioBla said :

Moose said :

Our apartments in Garran …
We’re in the new one’s next to the hospital.

I’ve viewed those a few times. The usual agent response is body corporate doesn’t allow it. So as a prospective renter, it is quite a commitment, to attend a viewing, and make an application with that uncertainty (or should I say certainty). I have seen pets in there, but I assumed they were owner occupiers.

I could be mistaken: the agents could have meant just not in the apartments above the ground floor.

Otherwise, they are nice apartments.

There was children living in the townhouse currently up for rent at 17 Eldridge. Surely a quiet little kitten would be nothing compared to noisy children. There definintely would be no riding of scooters and skateboards at 7am on a Saturday morning. Although that would be something I’d pay to see…

Cue PETA….

flyingfox 1:16 pm 18 May 11

We had a cat in an apartment in Reid for a few years, and the body corporate never found out. It helped that we owned the apartment, but we rented it for a year beforehand and had to smuggle the cat (and cat paraphernalia) out during the estate agent’s inspections. If you’re renting, don’t forget that the agent cannot just enter the property to inspect it – they must have your agreement to the time and date.

fox 1:11 pm 18 May 11

The apartments behind the Canberra Hospital definitely allow pets, provided they cause no unreasonable disturbance to neighbours, or damage to common property. Renting an apartment there (like all tenancy arrangements) is a different situation however as the lessor must approve it in the first instance.

Closer to the city are The Sanctuary townhouses, of which I believe there is currently one for sale and one for rent. Applications to keep pets in the complex are made to the managing agent and Executive Committee (elected body of owners), and neighbors within 50-100m (lower limit for cats, higher limit for dogs) are allowed to lodge objections within 30 days. All objections are discussed and negotiated with the majority of applications being approved.

Personally I applied to have two indoor cats in my townhouse at The Sanctuary and as there were no objections my application was approved. Most residents prefer not to have cats roaming the complex, so getting approval for an indoor cat there would likely be a cinch!

Gantz 1:01 pm 18 May 11

Hypothetically, if you’re buying an apartment, and its yours, you still must declare to B.C. that you intend to have a pet?

djk 12:37 pm 18 May 11

From the Unit Titles Act:

“Animals—owners corporation’s consent
(1) A unit owner may keep an animal, or allow an animal to be kept,
within the unit or the common property only with the consent of the
owners corporation.
(2) The owners corporation may give consent under this section with or
without conditions.
(3) However, the owners corporation’s consent must not be
unreasonably withheld.”

And from the explanatory notes accompanying the amendment when this clause was introduced:

“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.”

While many complexes may claim that they dont allow pets, I dont see how they can get around the legislation in regard to a small, (presumably) quiet, indoor pet, when the relevant law was specifically introduced in order to allow them.

BimboGeek 12:36 pm 18 May 11

The building across the road from the ABC (Valonia) officially allows pets. People in the area know it as the “pets” building since most of Braddon is pet-free.

But I know people who have pets in “no pets” apartments. The loudest cat I know lives in a “no pets” complex and people must surely be aware of her… but as Sammy said, it’s the disturbance that’s the problem, nobody is hurt by just being aware of the animal’s existence. I know some humans are precious and love a fight but generally human nature is pretty reasonable and it makes sense that they wouldn’t bother.

You might also find that a body corporate is going to understand that this is a special situation and make an exception. How many people are planning on bringing a kitty from overseas to their building? Not many.

Sammy 11:57 am 18 May 11

Having served on a number of apartment building body-corporate committees, I can tell you that each of these properties had a “no pets” policy (by default). However, the committee was always of the opinion that if the pet was causing no disturbance, then no further action would be taken. The policy of “no pets” was more of an insurance policy so that action could easily be taken against a resident who had a rambunctious/annoying pet.

So, as others have pointed out, the only option is probably to just take the risk and hope nobody cares. Also remember that you’ll probably experience an anti-cat member on the committee, and they might try and make waves, but without the support of the entire committee they’ll get nowhere (personal experience).

FioBla 11:57 am 18 May 11

Oh, the OP is buying, not renting. Please ignore me.

FioBla 11:56 am 18 May 11

I think the rental market in Canberra is not that tight that I have to avoid declaring my pets. I don’t think it is fair to the home owner to not declare them. Just my opinion.

In my previous statement, I meant owner occupiers had pets, not that the pet was an owner occupier.

FioBla 11:52 am 18 May 11

Moose said :

Our apartments in Garran have cats living in them. I’m not too sure if it’s allowed, but 2 of our neighbour’s downstairs have a lovely little kitten. There’s also a few with very lovely dogs as well. And one of the townhouses at No. 17 Eldridge is currently up for rent. I know there are a few around there with some small-medium-large size dogs and cats in them.

We’re in the new one’s next to the hospital.

I’ve viewed those a few times. The usual agent response is body corporate doesn’t allow it. So as a prospective renter, it is quite a commitment, to attend a viewing, and make an application with that uncertainty (or should I say certainty). I have seen pets in there, but I assumed they were owner occupiers.

I could be mistaken: the agents could have meant just not in the apartments above the ground floor.

Otherwise, they are nice apartments.

JessP 11:45 am 18 May 11

If she doesnt go outside and is only an inside cat, I would go with not declaring that you have a cat…if she is quiet and inside, who is to know?

I agree the whole pets in units is a disaster for responsible pet owners of quiet well behaved animals. I had a cat and lived (rented) a number of units around town. He was never home during inspections and did no damage to the units.

Moose 11:42 am 18 May 11

Our apartments in Garran have cats living in them. I’m not too sure if it’s allowed, but 2 of our neighbour’s downstairs have a lovely little kitten. There’s also a few with very lovely dogs as well. And one of the townhouses at No. 17 Eldridge is currently up for rent. I know there are a few around there with some small-medium-large size dogs and cats in them.

We’re in the new one’s next to the hospital.

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