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What pet owners should keep in mind when moving to an estate

If you’re looking to move to an estate, but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind, be sure to look through the body corporate rules before sealing the deal.

By Ania Szmyd-Potapczuk

, |

What pet owners should keep in mind when moving to an estate

If you’re looking to move to an estate, but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind, be sure to look through the body corporate rules before sealing the deal.

By Ania Szmyd-Potapczuk

, |

Pets can enhance our lives in many different ways. They can help relieve stress, get us moving, and provide companionship when we most need it. So it makes sense that we don’t want to leave our pets behind when we move.

Many people are looking at estate living as a safer and more convenient alternative to living in a crowded city. One of the major hurdles you’ll face is trying to move into an estate with your furry friend. While some estates may be pet-friendly, there are still several things you should keep in mind.

Body corporate rules

If you’re buying a house with a sectional title, you need to be aware of any rules the body corporate has set around pet ownership. The body corporate can set restrictions on almost every aspect of pet ownership, from breed restrictions to size restrictions, and even whether you’re allowed to replace the pet after it has died.

It’s important to note that even if an estate advertises itself as ‘pet-friendly’, it may not extend this welcome to all pets. Owners of non-standard pets like snakes, miniature horses and pot-bellied pigs need to make doubly sure that their pets are allowed according to the body corporate rules.

If the trustees have not put rules regarding animals in place, you’ll still have to abide by ‘prescribed conduct rules’, which form the default set of rules all sectional title owners must abide by when living in the estate. This prescribed set of rules requires that the body corporate acts reasonably in the matter of pet ownership in the estate, which leaves a lot of grey areas that can become hotly disputed. Rather try to find an estate with clearly defined rules regarding animals, unless you prefer spending your days defending your right to own an alpaca.

Responsible pet ownership

The reason many estates are reluctant to allow pets is due to the perceived nuisance they represent. One of the best ways you can help is by being a responsible pet owner. If you have a cat, make sure that it doesn’t spend all day wandering around other people’s property. If you have a dog, make sure that it is well socialised and that you adhere to any leash rules while on estate premises. And, of course, pick up your dog’s mess and keep the place clean. Some dogs will bark incessantly, and it’s your responsibility as a pet owner to address the issue before you start getting noise complaints.

Trustees can withdraw permission to own a pet at any time. The main reason for doing so is if your pet is becoming a major nuisance in the community. Most estates will give you a chance to address the issue before kicking your pet to the curb, but it’s probably better that you don’t end up in this situation to begin with.

The upside of the rise in pet ownership is that pet-friendly estates are becoming more common, and many of these estates are starting to offer pet-specific amenities. These amenities can include doggy parks, grooming parlours for animals of all types, and even dog socialisation and training classes. By taking advantage of these amenities, you can help show that responsible pet owners don’t decrease the quality of life in an estate, but instead, increase it.

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