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The truth about cats and dogs

Friday 11th Oct 2019

Ok, so I admit it…this newsletter has ruffled a few feathers (and scales) of late so this week I thought I would keep it light & fluffy.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (& the RSPCA), pets are part of the family in 62% of Australian households. The same sources state that Australia has the highest level of pet ownership in the developed world.
Coupled with some of the most expensive real estate on the planet, this has created an interesting issue for pet owners. The dream of owning the quarter acre block in Australia’s capital cities is fast becoming just that. We are increasingly living in more affordable strata title properties like apartments, duplexes & townhouses. Population growth experts predict this trend will continue and in the future the big backyard will be for the very few that can afford it. Funny, when you re-read that, it feels like we are all becoming a nation of downsizers!
Whenever we list a property in a strata title building one of the first things I try to establish is the attitude of the Owners Corporation to the ‘keeping of animals on their lot.’ We do this for two reasons, firstly we obviously need to know, and secondly it is a very good early indicator on the level of ‘cray’ in a building…pun intended.
With recent legislation changes around this issue, it’s almost impossible for buildings to outlaw pet ownership, however, many Owners Corporations are still trying. I hate to generalise…but I will. If you are looking at a property and get approached by the ‘Secretary of the body corporate’ who hands you a business card with their title ‘Secretary of the body corporate’, chances are this building doesn’t have much of a Christmas Party.
Obviously the common sense rule needs to apply with animals and above all the welfare of the animal should be paramount. Clearly, a neglected dog barking all day in a block of apartments is not acceptable to anyone (at the very least for the animal’s sake!). My advice to owners is that welcoming pets into your building with appropriate controls and guidelines will add value to your property and maybe a little bit of cheer to your day.
When deciding on rules, there are often things that are not considered by Owners Corporations. For example, most pet owning purchasers are owner occupiers & it’s fair to say that many buildings prefer owner occupiers due to management involvement & stability (trust me...we have seen far more problems in buildings caused by poorly trained people than pets).
Enter the segue...we have just listed three pet-friendly apartments and are getting an office dog…as fair and balanced as Fox news (final pun) 😊

Until next week,

David Murphy