According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (& the RSPCA) pets are part of the family in 63% 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. More and more of us are now living in more affordable strata title properties like apartments, duplexes & townhouses. Many experts predict this trend will continue and in the future the big back yard will be for the very few that can afford it.
So where does this leave our pets? On the back of recent changes to legislation which make strata by-laws more accepting of pets, buildings which disallow animals are leaving a lot of potential buyers wary and in many cases existing owners frustrated by the restriction.
The irony here is that many people living in strata buildings believe that by saying ‘no pets allowed’ they are protecting the value of their asset, but I would suggest there is very strong evidence to the contrary. Lone person households are Australia’s fastest growing household type, and this coupled with an ageing population means that more and more people rely on their pets for companionship.
Yesterday we took a large strata title apartment in a building ideal for downsizers to auction. While the property sold, there was very strong evidence that the ‘no pets policy’ had a $100,000 – $150,000 impact on the price. Many buyers loved the property but of course, weren’t prepared to give up their beloved pet.
When deciding on rules there are often factors that are not considered by owners corporations. For example, most pet owning purchasers are owner occupiers & its fair to say that most buildings prefer owner occupiers due to owners corporation involvement & stability (we have seen far more problems caused in buildings by people rather than pets).
Ultimately, Executive Committees should think very carefully before applying a ‘no pet policy’ because it just may de-value your property by 5-10% – and that’s just barking mad.