A decision by the NSW Court of Appeal to allow pets in a high-rise is set to have major ramifications for corporations and apartment owners.
Earlier this week, three Court of Appeal judges delivered what’s being described as a landmark decision likely to affect strata schemes going forward.
The matter centered around Darlinghurst-based complex, The Horizon, which sought to ban tenant Jo Cooper from keeping her 13-year-old miniature schnauzer named Angus at the premises.
The NSW Court of Appeal struck down the attempt by The Horizon, saying to ban animals from the building was a breach of legislation.
“The court has found that banning animals breaches strata scheme legislation, which provides that by-laws can’t be ‘harsh, unconscionable or oppressive’,” said Bartier Perry partner Sharon Levy, whose firm represented Jo Cooper.
“The emotional toll from pursuing this case has been incredibly hard. Yet, throughout the last five years, I’ve also lost count of the number of pet and apartment owners who have reached out and supported our stance.
“Today is a win for Angus, but it’s also a decision that will hopefully ensure owners corporations take a more balanced approach to the governing of apartment owners.”
Ms Cooper added the decision effectively changes the way owners corporations can govern their strata schemes.
“This ruling may have far wider ramifications as to the by-laws owners corporations can impose on apartment owners,” she explained.
“Every dog has its day, but Angus’ win could mean some significant changes and legal challenges to by-laws for years to come.”