I just want to live out my last years with my best mate

 

An 83-year-old pensioner is fighting to be allowed to keep his pet pooch in his Sydney apartment.

Colin Marshall bought his ground floor Rose Bay unit in August 2019 on the basis that pets were allowed in the building. Two months before he moved in and in accordance with the strata by-laws, Marshall applied for pet approval from the Owners Corporation.

The Telegraph has cited confirmation from strata manager, Kooper & Levi, of receipt of this application. However, in November 2019 the Owners Corporation convened an extraordinary general meeting where the by-laws were amended to prohibit pets in the building. Kooper & Levi then wrote to Mr. Marshall to say that he was in breach of the rules and needed to submit another application to be assessed under the new by-laws.

Colin Marshall in Rose Bay with his dog, Bu. Picture: Christian Gilles
Colin Marshall in Rose Bay with his dog, Bu. Picture: Christian Gilles


"I just want a quiet life for the final years that I am here," Marshall told The Daily Telegraph. "I don't know how much longer I am going to live. I've got prostate cancer, I have just had a heart valve procedure done and I've got an arthritic knee that I need to get done. I just want a quiet life. I don't want any hassles."

Seven-year-old greyhound Bu, whom Marshall adopted last year, is his companion and best friend.

"I moved because I wanted to get a ground floor unit near the shops and near the golf course," he said. "I could have stayed where I was for a couple of years but the time was going to come I'd have to move. Bu is the social being in my life. She is the one that makes everything possible for me."

He is being assisted by agent Richard Buttrose and real estate agent Danny Doff.

"Colin's very popular in the neighbourhood," Doff said.

Buttrose, who commenced legal proceedings on Colin's behalf on Tuesday, said: "It's a pretty strong case because they can't apply the new by-law to him because he bought and applied under the old by-law. There was a process and Colin followed it."

Real estate agent Danny Dofft and agent Richard Buttrose are helping Colin. Picture: Christian Gilles
Real estate agent Danny Dofft and agent Richard Buttrose are helping Colin. Picture: Christian Gilles


Kooper & Levi did not respond to requests for comment.

Buttrose, nephew of media identity Ita Buttrose, last week filed an application in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking orders that Marshall be granted permission to keep his pet in his apartment.

"Colin hoped to resolve the matter without legal proceedings but when the strata manager threatened to invoice him for his pet application, it forced his hand," Buttrose said.

The Tribunal now requires the parties to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation with Fair Trading NSW.

If this is unsuccessful, a date will be set for the matter to be determined by the Tribunal.

"I don't understand what is motivating them, but what they're doing to Colin is just not fair," Buttrose said. "He is in very poor health and he just wants to be able to live in peace and quiet with his best mate, Bu. Hopefully, we'll get it all sorted out in the next week or so."

Originally published as I just want to live out my last years with my best mate



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