The big strata news of this week stopped us in our tracks. The NSW Court of Appeals has overturned a decision by the strata tribunal (NCAT) which, earlier this year, ruled that strata schemes could create "no pets" by-laws.
Just to be clear, NCAT last year twice ruled that no-pet by-laws were illegal, then the NCAT Appeals Board overturned those decisions, then the Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, overturned the Appeals Board decision.
So now, in short, NSW strata schemes can't ban pets.
The podcast was all set, edited and ready to go when the news came in so we plugged the mike back in, cranked up the recording software and had a chat about what this means to pets and by-laws in general in NSW and elswhere in Australia.
You can also read an extensive commentary and find a link to the full news story HERE.
After that, we go back to our original podcast which is on totally different subjects - websites and web designers. This chat was partly inspired by revamps of two websites that are very close to us - the OCN's new look and Sue's own website.
We chat to Owners Corporation Network's Executive Officer Karen Stiles about what they were hoping to achieve in the revamp of OCN's website - accessibility, authority and clarity seem to be major factors.
And then Sue tells us about her new book Healing Lives which was the impetus for giving her own website a major do-over - click on the link and see for yourself.
All this plus James Comey, Donald Trump and JimmyT's obsession with bathroom sinks in this week's podcast.
Listening is by far the best way to enjoy the pod, but if you aren’t a podder, or are hearing impaired, you can read the transcript of this episode a little further down this page.
However, be warned, it was transcribed by a computer in America – “by-laws" become "BIOS" – then edited by an an over-caffeinated Celt.
We caught most of what was lost in translation, but this is an informal chat – with tangent, upon aside, upon lateral thought – that makes a Donald Trump speech read like Shakespeare.
But it's fun. Enjoy!
Flat Chat 95: Transcribed
We were just about to lock off this podcast and put it to bed for the week, when an amazing piece of news came in, what was it, Sue?
Well, the long running battle over pets and apartments, it had gone through NCAT a couple of times in New South Wales, and then it had gone to the New South Wales Court of Appeal. And everybody expected that the Court of Appeal would say that it's okay for buildings to ban pets if they want to ban pets with their by-laws. But an extraordinary ruling on Monday, the court ruled that a blanket ban on pets is unconscionable, oppressive and harsh. And therefore no building should be allowed to have a blanket ban on pets
So does that mean that it's any apartment block anywhere in Australia you can now take your pet in?
In New South Wales, New South Wales everywhere you can take a pet in, which is quite incredible has turned everything on its head. And it really has I mean, lots of people are pretty upset. Lots of people are really happy. And as the dust settles, we'll see what's going to happen in the future.
But really, now there's only one level of appeal left, and that's to the High Court of Australia, in Canberra.
And that would be really expensive to lodge an appeal to them.
Absolutely. So one would kind of imagine that is possible. This final ruling is it, at least for the time being because as we're talking on this podcast about the strata review that's happening, the strata law, it could well be that people will now lobby the New South Wales parliament to introduce new legislation to allow bylaws to ban pets.
And that's always a possibility as well, whether Parliament want to get involved. So you'd have to be a specific law saying the rules for pets are different.