The NSW Office of Fair Trading has released a list of the most common complaints received from residents of strata communities. Not surprisingly, keeping pets without permission is the third most complained about issue.

If keeping your pet is an important consideration for you, it is very important to make these enquiries before you enter into a contract for sale or lease.

Whether you are intending to rent or purchase in a strata scheme, you may need to obtain prior written consent from the Owners Corporation in order to keep your pet in the scheme, depending upon the By-laws which apply.

Your local solicitor can assist with preparing the letter, making sure that you have told the Owners Corporation everything they need to know. In many cases, the Corporation must not unreasonably withhold its consent.

If the Owners Corporation thinks that you are keeping a pet in your Lot without consent, it may serve a notice on you, requiring you to comply with the relevant By-law regarding the keeping of pets. If you fail to comply with the notice, the Owners Corporation can apply for an order from the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for a fine of up to $550 to be paid.

Australians love their pets and in many Australian homes, family pets are important members of the household. To avoid any problems or maximise your chances of having the pet approved, simply contact your local solicitor.