The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) has once again come to the rescue of a Sydney pet owner who faced eviction due to her apartment building’s ‘no-pets’ policy.
The dog owner, Jo Cooper, 30, had moved into Darlinghurst’s upscale 43-storey Horizon apartments in 2015 with her miniature schnauzer, Angus. The strictly-enforced rule meant that she could be evicted any time with her elderly and ailing pet. Though she did try to get the owner corporation to overturn the apartment bylaw through several motions, she was outvoted every time.
Deciding to challenge the policy, Cooper approached the NCAT for relief. Following a four-and-a-half-year battle, the tribunal ruled that the ban on pets at the Horizon should be scrapped. This decision is expected to affect other apartment blocks with similar no-pets policies.
Observing that the Horizon’s no-pets policy was ‘harsh, unconscionable and oppressive’, NCAT senior member Gregory Burton ordered the owners corporation ‘promptly to do all acts necessary to record the removal of bylaw 14’.
Cooper is ecstatic about her hard-fought victory and wants to get on with her life.
However, the Horizon could appeal the tribunal’s ruling with current chair of the building’s owners corporation Mark Broadley commenting that the owners will take a decision on the future course of action.
NCAT had recently overturned a similar pet ban at the Elan apartments, also in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The verdict, which was given in September this year, is currently being challenged by the building’s committee.