My mum is ready to downsize and is considering moving into a villa, but she is worried about whether or not she can take her dog. I’ve heard not all places will allow you to have a pet. How can she be sure about being able to take her little companion with her?
A. Dogs and cats are often treasured family members and can be an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to buying a new home (my wife, Kim, and I can’t imagine life without Sasha and Bonnie).
Unfortunately, pets are not always treasured when it comes to Strata Schemes (although Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs are always permitted).
Most villas are strata title properties and as such, have a set of by-laws which facilitate the smooth running of the Strata Scheme. They cover issues regarding common property and the behaviour of residents, as well as whether pets are permitted.
Some strata developments allow residents to have pets. Others do not, and it’s important to understand that these by-laws are rules which must be obeyed.
It is easy to check the fine print, and I always recommend people do so when they are considering a move to a strata development – whether you have a pet or not, it pays to investigate and be aware of the restrictions and protections in place for that particular development.
Decisions regarding the keeping of a pet are often determined by the Owners Corporation, so the best approach for your mum would be to make an application directly to them.
The good news is that unless there is a specific ‘no animals permitted’ rule, the approval of the Owners Corporation cannot be unreasonably withheld.
The not-so-good news is that the decision often rests on whether the pet is an appropriate size for the property and on the breed’s reputation for being noisy, aggressive or for displaying destructive behaviour. If your mum’s dog is considered unsuitable on these grounds, it would not be unreasonable for the Owners Corporation to withhold approval.
So if your mum’s dog is like most well-loved companion pets, it shouldn’t be difficult for them to find a new place they can call home.
Good luck, and let me know if I can help.
Answers are general comment, and readers should always seek their own independent professional advice.
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Greg Trembath is Principal/Licensee at
Greg Trembath Real Estate.
Licensed Real Estate Agent – Licensed Auctioneer.