Pet lovers: how to handle anti-pet body corporates and landlords
Pet lovers: how to handle anti-pet body corporates and landlordsBuyers and tenants are not aware of their rights when it comes to having pets, says a leading property expert from The Investors Club. The Investors Club manages over 17,000 properties Australia-wide. Karen Horsfall, Body Corporate Manager, says buyers can easily challenge draconian measures to completely ban pets; they just need to be well briefed on council rules and enter negotiations with the spirit of compromise.
“It’s true that not everyone likes pets, but ‘no pet’ policies are not hard and fast. We are starting to see more of independent adjudicators ruling against bodies corporate,” says Karen.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of pet ownership in the world. Twelve million Australian households are associated with pets, with 91 per cent of pet owners reporting they feel “very close” to their pet .
“By-laws that prevent an owner or tenant from keeping any animal, even something as inoffensive as a single goldfish, are unduly and not reflective of Australia’s love for animals. Tenants and buyers need to be aware that bodies corporate cannot absolutely prohibit the keeping of any animal in any circumstances,” says Karen.
The Investors Club’s 5 tips for negotiating pets with a landlord or body corporate:
1. Know your local council restrictions: Check your council rules. A standard rule is for a property of less than 600sqm, the maximum number of dogs that can be kept is two, regardless of size.
2. Seek permission first: An applicant must have approval from the body corporate before bringing or keeping a pet within a scheme. Doing this without permission can ruin your chances for negotiating further down the track.
3. The body corporate must be fair and reasonable: A refusal to grant permission for a pet should be based on consideration of the wellbeing of the animal, not the owner (e.g. refusing to grant approval to house a miniature pony in a three-storey walk up is reasonable).
4. Check clauses in your lease agreement: Clauses could already be available in your lease for you to challenge the body corporate or landlord.
5. Check with the owner: Before you go to the body corporate, you must first have agreement from the landlord. Remind your landlord of the tenant market they are missing out on by excluding pet owners.
About The Investors Club
The Investors Club helps investors on average incomes and above build property investment portfolios across Australia and New Zealand. Since it was established in 1994, The Investors Club has researched, sourced and sold nearly 17,000 properties to more than 9,700 investors. More than 3300 of these investors today hold property portfolios worth more than $1m in value. The Investors Club offers many services free to its investors, including sourcing tenants, research and building inspections. It also holds regular property education workshops and conferences throughout Australia. To find an event near you, visit www.tic.com.au/events.
Most education events are free; however media passes are available to those that are not.