Pet bans in NSW

No blanket ban on pets will be permitted in an apartment building anywhere in New South Wales, under a surprise Court of Appeal ruling.

Tenants in New South Wales apartment buildings will no longer be held back by blanket bans on pets, following a surprise NSW Court of Appeal ruling that has overturned the right of blocks to pass bylaws prohibiting animals.

The Court of Appeal struck down an attempt from one of Sydney’s most known apartment buildings to ban pets.

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This verdict follows a long-held battle by dog owner Jo Cooper, who will now be permitted to keep her miniature schnauzer Angus in Darlinghurst’s Horizon building – an apartment that has always had a pet ban.

The court also ruled that the 43-storey Horizon building should be liable for the costs of all the hearings, which could amount to as much as $500,000 in total for the owners.

Bartier Perry partner Sharon Levy said a unanimous decision on The Horizon’s longstanding attempt to ban animals from the building was a breach of legislation.

“This decision effectively changes the way owners corporations can govern their strata schemes,” said Ms Levy.

“The court has found that banning animals breaches strata scheme legislation which provides that by-laws can’t be ‘harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.'”

Ms Levy said that not only had Angus’ owner been vindicated, but the ruling was set to impact the thousands of apartment owners across the state.

The NSW Parliament will soon be undertaking a review of strata laws, where politicians could decide to enact new legislation about keeping animals.

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