Animal lovers are rejoicing after an amendment to a law that previously banned people from getting a companion animal after moving into a complex managed by strata was passed.
The NSW Upper House passed the amendment, dubbed a remarkable step that would make it easier for tenants of apartment complexes to have pets in their home, on Tuesday.
The change was proposed by Emma Hurst, the representative of the Animal Justice Party, who said if the lower house also passed it, strata management would be banned from restricting tenants from getting a pet.
Currently the Strata Schemes Management Act only allows tenants with assistance animals the legal right to have an animal in their home.
“Our amendment, which passed in the Upper House last night, provides that a by-law will have no force or effect to the extent it unreasonably prohibits having an animal in a strata complex,” a statement from Ms Hurst read.
She explained rules were still in place that would permit strata to reject permission for tenants to bring unreasonably large animals into an apartment, like a horse.
“But they couldn’t prevent owner occupiers from rescuing a cat,” she explained.
“It is unacceptable that we would require someone to have to choose between selling an apartment they own, or losing their companion animal – simply because of a by-law.”
Ms Hurst argued the change could significantly reduce the hundreds of thousands of healthy cats and dogs in pounds, given there would be less red tape for prospective adopters to step through.
“This change in the legislation will help those families to be able to safely adopt and save a life without risking having to lose their homes,” she said.
The amendment will need to pass through the lower house before becoming law.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.