Pet-sitters allowed at residential park home

Two elderly dogs will be cared for by cousins after a decision to deny pet-sitters at a residential park was reversed.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in Brisbane last month decided the owners of 11-year-olds Billy and Shelby were entitled to take a holiday while relatives stayed at their Hope Island home to look after their infirm pets.

Vision at Halcyon residents Kevin and Leanne Fogerty applied to QCAT for a review of a decision by site owner Stockland to refuse consent for the pet-sitters, a decision which was made under the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 (Qld).

The Fogertys wanted to use Qantas flight credits they received when COVID-19 scuppered travel plans, and in September 2022, they requested cousins be permitted to pet-sit the dogs for 11 days.

A written site agreement between the parties contained a clause prohibiting a person who is not an authorised occupant from staying at the home while the authorised occupants are not present, without Stockland’s written consent.

The agreement also contained a further clause prohibiting temporary letting or renting of the home (including house-sitting, pet-sitting and similar arrangements), without such consent. It provided such consent or approval could be refused on reasonable grounds.


Stockland cited precedent and unfairness to other residents as reasons for its refusal.

The Fogertys submitted that it was not appropriate for the dogs to be placed in kennel care, or with a stranger, because of the dogs’ “age, health and disposition”, and supplied a letter of support from Billy’s veterinarian.

Further, other home owners at the park had refused to house-sit the dogs because of Billy’s poor health and tendency to bite when receiving medication.

The Fogertys also submitted that the cousins were mature (aged 68 and 71), were of good character, and would agree in writing to abide by the site agreement.

They argued that their request was a “short-term, once-only, family arrangement resulting from a unique set of circumstances”.

Stockland pointed to six terms of the site agreement that justified its refusal.


The company submitted that the Fogertys had not established any emergency, or extraordinary or compassionate circumstances, and contended that the couple had not established that it had no reasonable alternatives to house-sitting.

“It (Stockland) argues that there are several viable options for external home care environments and pet resorts that would adequately cater to the dogs’ health and disposition. The respondent complains that the applicants have not arranged any trials to introduce either of the dogs to a carefully vetted external house-sit environment or a dog-boarding facility,” Member Munasinghe said.

Stockland argued there was no precedent and that most residents were strongly opposed to allowing pet-sitters or strangers to live in the community while home owners were away. It also argued consenting to the request would “open the floodgates” to other home owners to sublet their homes.

Member Munasinghe said the site agreement was silent as to what constituted a “reasonable ground”, but the village’s community living guidelines used permissive rather than restrictive language in providing that “in extraordinary circumstances, such as a home owner temporarily relocating to assist ill family members, house-sitting may be considered on compassionate grounds”.

He said the pandemic had put the Fogertys in an “invidious” position.

“Either they must suffer the opportunity cost and financial loss which would ensue from forgoing travel credits, or alternatively, potentially compromise the wellbeing of their pets. The unpalatability of either of those choices is obvious,” he said.


“I take it on judicial notice that the pandemic was an unprecedented global catastrophe. Accordingly, it seems to me that the circumstances precipitating the applicants’ request are extraordinary and compassionate within the meaning of the community living guidelines.”

Member Munasinghe said he was satisfied that it was undesirable to place the dogs in an out-of-home placement or in kennel care.

He said he was not persuaded that acquiescing to the Fogertys’ request would “open the floodgates”, nor that there was strong evidence of home owners being opposed to allowing pet-sitters.

He ordered that Stockland allow the Fogertys’ cousins to house-sit at the site for up to 21 days while the Fogertys took a holiday in 2024.

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One Response

  1. That is fair and reasonable decision. It appears Stocklands lack fairness and compassion to paying residents.

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