Are pets allowed in a body corporate property?


Are pets allowed in a body corporate property? 

The keeping of pets in a body corporate property is regulated by the by-laws of the body corporate. A common by-law is one that permits pets however requires body corporate approval before the pet is permitted in the building.

If you are buying property (specifically a unit or townhouse) and wanting to keep your pet in the building managed by a body corporate, you should:

  • Check the scheme’s by-laws about keeping of pets;
  • Ask the agent to provide information confirming this; and
  • Have a special condition included in the contract (we can help with this).

If the by-laws permit pets, they may also stipulate whether or not you need to seek permission from the body corporate to keep a pet.

If there is no by-law about pets in the scheme, you are not required to ask for permission to keep your pet. However, you must take into account other considerations such as the suitability of the pet in your property, noise and nuisance to others.

Because nuisance is prohibited under the Act, the body corporate committee may withdraw approval for a pet if the pet causes nuisance to other owners in the building.

The rules in Queensland

By-law 11 in Schedule 4 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 states that strata residents must have approval to bring or keep an animal in the building. However, Queensland strata buildings have the right to change the by-laws in the registered community management statement. The community management statement document sets out the rules for buildings including by-laws.

Because of the Body Corporate’s ability to change the by-laws, many Body Corporate’s may impose strict requirements on keeping pets in the building. This includes meeting certain requirements including the permission process that must be followed.

However, just because a by-law is included in a body corporate scheme, does not make it a valid by-law. Under s 180 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, there are limitations on by-laws. For instance, under s 180(7), ‘A by-law must not be oppressive or unreasonable, having regard to the interests of all owners and occupiers of lots included in the scheme and the use of the common property for the scheme’.

The Queensland Tribunals and Courts have also made decisions with respect to pets. In the case of McKenzie v Body Corporate for Kings Row Centre CTS 11632 [2010] QCAT 57,  it was concluded that a pet ban by-law was invalid.

Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs

If you have a disability and require a guide, hearing and assistance dog you are not required to request permission to bring your dog into the property (s 181 of the Act).

What to do if you are buying property managed by a body corporate?

If you are buying property in a body corporate scheme, you should ask the agent or seller whether there are any applicable by-laws regarding pets. In most cases, there will be a process to obtain consent from the body corporate.

Upon application, the body corporate must consider your application and act reasonable in their decision making. Usually, the decision making factors surround the impact your pet will have on the common property and of course other people in the complex.

If you have any questions about your contract prior to signing, do not hesitate to contact our friendly Property Law team on 07 3808 7777 or send us an email at

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

Principal Director
Dominic Doan

Dominic Doan