Australia is a nation of animal owners. Family pets are very important members of the household and 60% of Australian homes have an animal companion. However, keeping animals in a strata scheme has previously raised issues and for a long-time strata regulations have restricted the ownership of pets. These restrictions, however, have since been modified. So, what benefits, as an owners corporation, could you experience if you adopt the changes proposed by the updated pet by-laws?
Concerns over pet ownership
Understandably, pet ownership in strata schemes has previously raised concerns over noise, cleanliness and unsociable behaviour. As an Owners Corporation, you’ll be aware of the new and less restrictive changes to the model by-laws. Although you still have the right to adopt by-laws that suit your particular context, I believe changing your rules surrounding pet ownership could be the way forward.
Adopting the new by-law would mean you no longer ban pets altogether. Instead, before allowing a resident to have a pet, they would need to seek permission from the Owners Corparation. Previously, the pet ownership by-law also stated that those with ‘small dogs’ were required to carry the animal when it was on common property. The updated by-law now allows owners to own a dog of any size and they only have to ‘supervise the animal when it is on common property’.
Why should you support the changes?
Supporting these changes and implementing less restrictive pet ownership practices could benefit your strata community in a number of ways. For one, pets can actually be an asset to the whole strata neighbourhood. Rather than solely acting as a buffer against loneliness and supporting health and wellbeing, I believe pets can actually create a sense of community. People I have spoken to feel they actually have more conversations and interactions with their neighbours when they are with their pets. Animals are often great ice breakers too, and can really foster a great sense of community in your strata scheme.
Restrictive policies on pets are also a real barrier to apartment living. Strict rules can actually force people to consider re-homing their pets, which can be devastating for the owner. Restrictive pet by-laws also reduce the available market for people trying to sell an apartment.
Finally, having a pet-friendly status could broaden the market appeal of your strata community, potentially attracting more residents to your strata scheme.
So you’ve found an apartment – it’s perfect for you, in the right area and within your budget. Are you sure about that?