Do Landlords Have the Right to Refuse Pets in a Strata Building?

Thursday 11 Feb 2021

A recent ruling by the NSW Court of Appeal, which struck down an attempt from a well-known Sydney building to ban pets, relates to ‘blanket bans’ in by-laws of strata schemes which as a result of this ruling now makes these types of by-laws invalid.

The Court of Appeal ruled that a by-law imposing a blanket ban on the keeping of animals at the Horizon apartment tower in Darlinghurst was oppressive and breached strata laws: section 139(1) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the Act) prohibits a by-law from being harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.

However, importantly, this decision DOES NOT impinge on a landlord’s right to refuse pets in their rental property. A landlord in a strata building has the right to reasonably refuse a pet regardless of any by-law which permits them, however, the landlord cannot agree to a particular pet if that would be in breach of a by-law (provided the by-law is not a blanket ban).