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KEEPING OF PETS

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KEEPING OF PETS

Pet ownership in a sectional title scheme can be a source of conflict and unhappiness and it can cause some problems.

The keeping of pets in a sectional title scheme is regulated by Prescribed Conduct Rule 1 and states as follow:

"Keeping of animals, reptiles and birds

  1. The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees' written consent, which must not be unreasonably withheld, keep an animal, reptile or bird in a section or on the common property.
  2. An owner or occupier suffering from a disability and who reasonably requires a guide, hearing or assistance dog must be considered to have the trustees' consent to keep that animal in a section and to accompany it on the common property.
  3. The trustees may provide for any reasonable condition in regard to the keeping of an animal, reptile or bird in a section or on the common property.
  4. The trustees may withdraw any consent if the owner or occupier of a section breaches any condition imposed in terms of sub-rule (3)."

You will have to adhere to this conduct rule unless the Body Corporate has amended it.  Where the body corporate has not amended the prescribed rule, they are obliged to act reasonably when deciding to allow a pet or not.  This will mean that the trustees must base their decision on the facts and circumstances of each case.  The trustee's must give reasons that will show that they have applied their minds to the particular set of facts.

This was confirmed in the case of Body Corporate of the Laguna Ridge Scheme v Dorse where it was held that the trustees are obliged to individually consider each request for permission to keep a pet and to base their decision on the facts and circumstances of each case.

The trustees must further consider if the decision to grant a person permission to own a pet will unreasonably interfere with other's right to the use and enjoyment of their units and they need to ensure that the risk of nuisance is kept to a minimum, this will ensure that there is harmony amongst everyone living in a sectional title scheme.

Trustees should also clearly define what is allowed and what not. Pets vary in type and size, and there is a big difference between keeping a dog or a cat or birds in cages.

If you are unhappy with the trustee's decision or a fellow resident and a dispute arises you can approach the Community Schemes Ombud Service.  They can assist with alternative dispute resolution services designed to help in such a situation.

It is important for prospective buyers who would like to keep a pet to find out if pets are allowed in the scheme and to obtain any necessary permission before signing an offer to purchase.

It is advisable that the seller, purchaser and estate agent address this in the offer to purchase.

Best regards,

The MC-Team

Author MC2Agent
Published 30 Nov 2018 / Views -
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