Potts Point is an eclectic, bohemian area, and its residents are generally very open-minded.

But the issue of pets in apartments in Potts Point can be a sensitive subject. In fact, the question of whether pets should reside in our apartments seems to divide the suburb.

In some ways the area has adopted a Parisian attitude: it’s not uncommon to see a furry face pop out of an oversized handbag and most cafes have water bowls near their outdoor seating area. Storehouse in Rushcutters Bay has gone a step further with a four-course ‘dogustation’ menu on offer at the restaurant.

On the other hand, the apartment-rich 2011 postcode has Sydney’s densest population and whether its due to allergy, phobias or personal preference, not everyone wants to ride the lift with a four-legged creature.

Here’s the latest news about the topic and some advice, regardless of your opinion on this touchy subject.

Pets in Potts Point in the media

In October 2019, animal lovers living in Kings Cross’ Elan were overjoyed when a bylaw banning pets from the building was overturned by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. This came after years of to-ing and fro-ing with emotions running high on both sides of the debate.

In 2017, the strata committee in the building cracked down on pet owners by enforcing their existing 2013 bylaw, which banned pets. Animals residents who had moved in prior to 2013 were allowed to stay and the remaining pet owners were enraged at the prospect of giving up their companions. Understandably, many on both sides of the debate were upset.

Elan inhabitants who voted for the ban (and formed the majority) complained about urine in the lift, as well as wet kitty litter expanding in the garbage chute among other issues. Recent reports of a survey in the building found that that most residents stand by the ban and have lodged an appeal, catalysing a case that could potentially go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Residents in Darlinghurst’s Horizon building are locked in a similar dispute. The residency status of Angus a 13-year-old, half-blind, half-deaf miniature schnauzer, is under question. The vast majority of owners are said to want Horizon to remain pet-free, which it has been since the building’s completion in 1998.

The Law

Recently, the trend in strata apartments has ruled in favour of animal owners. In 2016, new default bylaws stated that pets are allowed in strata buildings, with written notice or approval by the owners corporation. Sounds simple, but it’s actually complicated by the fact that it’s up to individual strata schemes to decide what kind of bylaws are put in place to govern the issue.

And while animal lovers believe that a blanket ban on pets is unreasonable, on the other side of the debate, many argue that it’s unethical not to allow a building to ban pets – especially if buyers chose to purchase their home on a pet-free basis for personal, health, cultural, or religious reasons. Tricky.

What this means for you

Regardless of your stance, you will find a building in the area that fits in with your ethos. Altair at Rushcutters Bay, for example, is known as a dog lover’s paradise and The Rex on Macleay Street is also known to be pet-friendly.

As mentioned above, it’s good for pet owners to be aware that Elan and Horizon do not presently seem to be as keen on pets in the building.

It’s important, of course, to always read the fine print and research all the rules and regulations listed by the Strata Committee or Company Title building before you put down your deposit.

It’s a little bit like finding a flaw in a potential life partner, you might hope for change, but you shouldn’t expect it…

Article by Jason Boon

In a real estate market that is the focus of Australian, and indeed worldwide attention, Jason Boon's results in the Sydney scene make him a highly significant figure within the industry. A long-term specialist in the Potts Point and inner eastern suburbs area, he is uniquely placed to leverage his skills and local knowledge as the area undergoes significant change and diversification. Jason ha…