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Digest of the Week — "No Pets" Clauses

Condominium Plan No. 762 1302 v. Stebbing |
2014 CarswellAlta 1436 |
Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Real property | Condominiums | By-laws | "No pets" by-laws

Removal of pets — Owner and her two cats moved into "pet-friendly" condominium complex — By-laws provided for condominium board's consent to keep pets and for withdrawal of consent on 15 days' notice if pet was deemed nuisance or annoyance — Owner made board approval for her two cats condition of purchase of unit, and realtor conveyed that approval had been obtained — Board was aware of owner's cats but never granted written consent — After two years, three unit owners with allergies complained about cats in building — There was never any specific complaint about owner's cats — Board decided to enforce by-laws strictly and sent owner notice to remove her cats within 15 days for lack of written consent — Owner refused and board applied under s. 67 of Condominium Property Act for order requiring removal of cats — Application granted in part — Many pet owners in building did not have written permission — Board drew arbitrary line between pets with written consent and pets without it after allowing situation to exist for period of time — Compliance with s. 67 of Act in this case required balancing inconvenience and discomfort suffered by other residents with depriving another of comfort and companionship pet affords its owner — Fifteen-day provision in by-law should be reserved for extreme cases — It may be difficult to place pet, resulting in death sentence, and impact on pet owner is significant — Declaration was issued that owner was in breach of by-law for lack of written consent, but enforcement was stayed until remaining cat either died of natural causes or was relocated.
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