By Joseph Wong
Almost everyone, at some point, would have a pet in their lives. And having a pet may be one of the best things in life for many people.
But what happens when modern living clashes with pet ownership? This conflict is seldom an issue with landed property, but with high-rise living, it is another matter.
For tenants, it is just a matter of the landlords saying no to pets and owners can opt not to rent from this group of homeowners.
What happens when the landlord says yes, but the apartment management imposes a “no pets allowed” order? Can pet owners still have the right to house their pets in high-rise units?
Interestingly, prior to June 2015, pets were not allowed in apartments or high-rise units. This was clearly stated in the Deed of Mutual Covenants (DMC), which was a guideline that oversees the governance of all strata parcels in Malaysia at the time.
But under the Strata Management Act 2013 which has replaced the DMC, there was a change to allow for pets in stratified high-rise homes, abet with some guidelines.
Pets are now allowed unless they cause annoyance or a nuisance and pose health risks to other residents in the property under By-Law 14 in the Third Schedule of the Strata Management (Maintenance & Management) Regulations 2015.
This means that the management committee (MC) or joint management body (JMB) cannot legally ban owners and tenants from owning pets in a high-rise property.
Naturally, there are restrictions. According to the National House Buyers Association of Malaysia (HBA), any rules approved by a building’s management must be subservient and consistent with the local authority law in that area.
In other words, local councils have a say about pets in high-rise homes, and different councils have different laws on this. So it is important to check with the local council first as ultimately, it is the local authorities would decide whether a person is allowed to keep a pet or not.
For example, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) does allow owners of high-rise homes to have pet dogs, but there is a specific restriction.
Only nine species of small dogs in stratified high-rise homes are allowed. These small breeds include the Bichon Frise, Chihuahua, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Minature Pinscher, Papilon, Pekingese, Pomeranian and Poodle.
Subang Jaya Municipal Council, on the other hand, prohibits the keeping dogs on any high-rise building.