Keeping a pet in a body corporate

Help, I want to keep a pet in my unit

Many people enjoy having a pet.  Living in a body corporate in Queensland does not necessarily mean you can not continue to keep your pet.

Body corporate standard by-laws

Standard by-law 11 is identified in the Queensland Body Corporate and Community Management Act as
Keeping of animals

  • (1) The occupier of a lot must not, without the body corporate’s written approval—
    • (a) bring or keep an animal on the lot or the common property; or
    • (b) permit an invitee to bring or keep an animal on the lot or the common property.
  • (2) The occupier must obtain the body corporate’s written approval before bringing, or permitting an invitee to bring, an animal onto the lot or the common property.
Body corporate modified by-laws

Sometimes, bodies corporate modify this by-law to exclude pets or sometimes a ‘blanket ban’ pet by-law has always been in place since the commencement of a scheme.  For the majority of bodies corporate, such a by-law is recognized by the tribunal as unreasonable.  You can read a recent BCCM adjudication case where such a by-law was ruled invalid and the standard by-law was ordered to replace the invalid by-law.

Determine what is reasonable

Using the standard by-law relating to pets, the body corporate committee may decide on a case by case basis whether or not to approve a particular animal being brought onto the scheme.  The committee is required to act reasonably in anything it does including making, or not making a decision.  In considering a pet application, the committee may impose reasonable conditions on the approval to alleviate any risk of nuisance or unreasonable interference with the peace and enjoyment of other residents.

Pet friendly strata complexes

Some modern strata title property developments are now incorporating pet friendly aspects into the design and construction.  This is in response to current attitudes that a pet is another member of the family and deserves consideration.

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