Most people love having a cute little pet animal to take care of at home. Particularly the fluffy ones.
However, until 2015, residents of high-rise buildings in Malaysia had to resort to all sorts of creative ways to hide their pets raring at home.
Hoping the neighbours would not complain.
It is a common issue among high-rise building residents.
Many of them even come across signs like "No Pets Allowed" or "Dogs Are Not Allowed" on strata building walls.
Rightfully so, it was stated clearly in the Deep Mutual Covenants (DMC) that pets are not allowed in all strata parcels in Malaysia.
Keep in mind that strata parcels include:
High-rise buildings like condominiums, apartments, and flats
Gated and guarded communities
The pets mentioned can be other animals besides dogs and cats.
But matters on pets in strata building have evolved since mid-2015.
An amendment was made to the Strata Management Act and enforced on 1 June 2015. It was done through the By-Law 14 under the Third Schedule of the Strata Management (Maintenance & Management) Regulations 2015.
The provisions on pets specified in the by-laws include
14. Keeping of animals
In a building used for residential or dwelling purposes, a proprietor shall not keep any particular animals in his parcel or on the common property thereof that may cause annoyance or nuisance to the other proprietors or which may be dangerous to the safety or health of the other proprietors or which contravenes any written law or rules and regulations of the relevant State or the local authority.
A proprietor who is in breach of subparagraph 14(1) of these by-laws, shall within three days upon the receipt of a written notice from the management corporation remove the particular animal from the building. If he fails to do so, the management corporation may take whatever action deemed necessary to remove the particular animal from the building and –
All cost incurred shall be charged to and imposed on the proprietor, and
The management corporation shall not be liable for any damage reasonably caused to the property of the proprietor in the process of removing such animal.
What does this mean to pet lovers?
This comes as good news to pet lovers as the amendment does not explicitly state that pets are not allowed in strata properties.
However, there is a catch. Or two.
There are three primary conditions to keeping pets on your property.
Be civic & keep your pets
#1: Your pet must not cause any nuisance or annoyance
It has always been unpleasant and trouble-causing to other residents when pet owners do not train their pets well.
For instance, pets that:
make noises and bark constantly
destroy public properties or common areas such as walls, flowerbeds
litter all over the garden where owners do not pick up after them
crawl into the home of other residents to sleep
cause foul or offensive odours in public areas like lifts, stairs and hallways
turn over garbage cans and/or rummage and spread the rubbish everywhere
So if you are a pet lover, be a civil homeowner too. Be responsible towards your pet, home and neighbours.
#2: Your pet must not cause any risk to the safety or health of other homeowners
Besides hygiene and peace, other severe issues of living in pet-friendly buildings include physical harm, health issues and injuries.
Such incidents may include pets that:
are aggressive, constantly bite, attack or threaten other residents without provocation
carry diseases that spread to others easily
Causing safety or health issues to other homeowners does not only get your pet license revoked but you may get sued if your pet causes injuries to them.
#3: You must not breach any state or local authority rules and regulations
Some local authorities may have a less stringent process to allow you to keep your pets in the building.
Firstly, this means different local councils or managements may have different rulings that regulate the keeping of pets in high-rise buildings.
Secondly, not all kinds of pets are allowed. For instance, some buildings only allow small pets.
Some management corporations may have strict regulations such as the type of animals allowed and restricted common areas allowed for pets.
Some local authorities require you to get a licence where written approval is needed from the Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC) to obtain.
However, suppose your building's management does not allow you to have pets in the building. In that case, you may have to challenge the management rules in the Strata Management Tribunal (SMT).
You can only bring a claim to the tribunal if you are the property owner. This means if you are renting the place, you cannot bring action against the management rules.
Upon a successful challenge, the tribunal may remove the rules, allowing you to keep your pets.
Living in a Pet-Allowed Strata Building
Not a pet lover? Or don't own a pet?
You should know your rights too.
What does it mean to you if you are living in a pet-allowed strata building?
What can you do if you have concerns?
#1. Bring it up during AGM/EGM
Should you have concerns regarding the rulings on allowing pets in your building, you can raise this as an item during Annual General Meeting or Extra-Ordinary General Meeting.
Prepare and present your case with sufficient evidence on why this ruling should change. Propose a resolution to pass preventing pets from the property.
#2. File a relevant complaint
Should you face issues with your neighbour's pet, such as a health threat, injuries, annoyance, or others mentioned above, you can file a complaint to the JMB or MC.
The management is obligated to take actions specified under the by-law, which could result in removing the pet from the building.
In Summary: the implications of this by-law
Generally, pets are allowed in your condominium, community or apartment.
However, the JMB or MC reserves the right to insist for you not have pets in the building.
You must also adhere to the rules and regulations of the local authority.
In all events that you are allowed to keep your pets in the building, be a civic-minded neighbour — train your pets, pick up after them, and be responsible for their actions.
Note: This article does not constitute legal advice to any specific case. The facts and circumstances of each case will differ and, therefore, will require specific legal advice. Feel free to contact us for complimentary legal consultation.