New NSW law will allow more apartment dwellers to keep pets

dog looking out the window of a rental property

A new law will come into effect this week via an amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act, which will allow more apartment residents to keep their animal companions in their property.

In the last couple of years there have been several legal battles taken to the NSW Court of Appeal to fight against the ban of animals in apartments.

Before, some laws forbade people from keeping pets in strata buildings, or had laws that didn’t allow dogs but allowed cats, birds or fish.  

The new section of the Strata Schemes Management Act states that by-laws that unreasonably prohibit the keeping of a pet will have no force or effect, unless the pet interferes with another resident’s use or enjoyment of the common property. 

However, the term ‘unreasonable’ has not been properly defined, leaving room for grey areas. So there could still be a list of specific reasons on why an apartment resident can be denied the permission to have a pet. 

While this may be a step forward for pet-lovers in NSW, those in other states have different  rules for having pets in rental or strata buildings.

Pets in rental property by state and territory


In Victoria, every tenant has the right to keep a pet in their rental home. Landlords still have to give permission to have a pet in their rental property, but they must prove to have a good case against the tenant to deny them.


Landlords in Queensland must give permission to have pets in the rental property and they may refuse the request. But recent rules in Queensland make it very difficult to turn down requests to have a pet.

South Australia

Much like the other states, you must get permission from the landlord to keep a pet, but under the leasing contract landlords can enforce certain rules like no noise barking.


There cannot be any banning of pets by the landlords unless they can prove the reason for the ban on reasonable grounds. Usually pet owners are allowed to keep their pets in their homes and must ensure to repay or fix any damages by the dog.

Western Australia

In this state, pet bonds are a typical part of rental agreements. Much like everywhere else, permission must be given by the landlord.

Northern Territory

Pet bonds are illegal in the Northern Territory, but the landlord has full right to allow or deny pets on the premises. However, tenants can apply to change the ruling if they have grounds of it being hard or unconscionable.


In Tasmania pet bonds are also illegal. Tenants can have a pet if the landlord has agreed to it. Much like ACT the tenant must fix any damage caused by the pet.

If you are thinking about looking for a place to live with your furry one, consider getting pet insurance to make your pet resume top-notch.