Strata residents raise issue of cohabitation with pets


Condominium management may issue directive for the removal of animals based on complaints.Condominium management may issue directive for the removal of animals based on complaints.

K. DIANA resides in a condominium in Petaling Jaya, Selangor where she recently welcomed an abandoned toy poodle into her home.

She claims that the well-behaved pooch poses no disturbance to her neighbours as it remains indoors.

Three months after bringing the dog home, Diana received a notice from condominium management instructing her to remove her pet.

ALSO READ: ‘Be good pet owners’

This directive came as a result of a complaint made by a neighbour.

Subsequently, all residents with pets were given three days to comply, under threat of a RM200 fine and potential forcible removal of the animals from the premises.

The management cited its authority to enforce pet removal based on Local Government Act and Regulations, as well as Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015, which stipulated the removal of pets that disturb others within three days of notice.

However, Diana noted that her management did not pursue the matter further, allowing her to continue raising her dog.

“No way am I allowing anyone to take my dog away. My dog is part of my family and it lives inside my condo.

Chang says in a dispute, local council by-laws should take precedence over condominium rules.Chang says in a dispute, local council by-laws should take precedence over condominium rules.

“I don’t even take it to the common area. I take my dog to the public park for a walk daily and I pick up after it too,” she said.

Diana’s experience highlights a broader issue faced by many in high-rise living environments over ambiguity surrounding pet ownership regulations in the Klang Valley.

Over in Kuala Lumpur, Japanese spitz owner K. Malini, who lives in a luxury condo in Jalan Duta, disagrees with the decision to allow condo management to have final say on dog ownership.

“As a resident, I find it disheartening that the local authority can relinquish the final say on dog ownership in condos to management companies.

“This decision should be governed by inclusive community decisions, not dictated by the interests of a few people,” Malini said.

Resident of a walk-up apartment in Seri Petaling, Jason Loke, however, said he supported the decision to let management companies be the decision maker.

“However, it is imperative that we extend this accountability to cat owners too.

“We need to address the issue of irresponsible cat ownership that is equally crucial for fostering a safe and harmonious living environment for all residents.”

Loke added that his biggest concern was communities that insisted on feeding stray cats around an apartment complex, but turned a blind eye to the mess left behind by the felines – rotting food and indiscriminate defecation.

Fernandez says the law does not prohibit condo residents from keeping dogs or cats in high-rises unless the animals are a nuisance.Fernandez says the law does not prohibit condo residents from keeping dogs or cats in high-rises unless the animals are a nuisance.

Realtor Shamini M, who lives in a pet-friendly apartment in Damansara Heights, says her apartment has no set rules on pet ownership.

“Our management allows residents to keep dogs and cats.

“I feel it’s a reasonable decision to allow the management to have final say and tailor rules based on specific needs of the community.

“It can promote harmony in the community, provided everyone practises responsible pet ownership,” she added.

Local government expert Derek Fernandez said councils did not need to interfere with matters that happened in condominiums as the management could have their own house rules.

“There is nothing in law that prohibits people from keeping dogs or cats in high-rises unless the animals cause nuisance or endanger residents,” he added.

National House Buyers Association of Malaysia (HBA) honorary secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong, however, said rules enforced by joint management bodies (JMBs) or management corporations (MCs) must align with local authority laws.

Local council by-laws, he said, should take precedence over house rules established by a building management.

“There should be a hierarchy where local authority laws take precedence over rules set by the building’s management in the event of a dispute.

“The harmony of community living must always bow to the rule of law,’’ he said.

Chang added that unless the pets in question were a nuisance, dangerous, posed a health risk or was in breach of local council rules as per the Strata Management Act, only then could management take action.

Related stories:

‘Be good pet owners’

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