By-law change leads to heavy petting

QUESTION: My building has voted in a whole new set of by-laws, one of which says pets are OK so long as permission is sought and granted in writing. This is fine by me, I am in favour of pets in apartments, but we have a problem.

All of a sudden there has been a proliferation of pets without permission being sought or granted because agents are being told we are a ‘pet friendly building’.

Also most owners are apathetic and don’t read agendas, minutes, by-laws and, as I said, the by-laws aren’t known because of slack Executive Committee and Strata Manager.

Any advice please to set things straight? – ThatCrazySwede, edited from Forum.

ANSWER:  My first reaction is, to wonder if there is a problem or just the potential for one.

The fact is that, with or without a pet-friendly by-law, problem pets can be dealt with fairly effectively.  A constantly barking dog is a by-law breach, regardless of whether the owner has permission or not.

These non-permitted pets are on even thinner ice – they’re only there for as long as they don’t upset the neighbours.

If they do annoy the folks next door, a Notice To Comply can be issued telling the owners their yapping darling is in breach and should be removed from the building. No debate is required. No permission, no pet – it’s as simple as that.

And when the owners do belatedly apply for permission, would it be unreasonable to refuse, given that you already know there’s a problem?

Your building’s experience shows there is a demand for pet-friendly buildings. But rather than waiting for by-law breaches to occur, your executive committee should be issuing a “welcome pack” to new tenants and owners, pointing out that there are by-laws and, in some cases, what they need to do to observe them.

This can also cover other common complaints like parking, laundry and noise and can be presented in a way that is informative rather than threatening.

You can read ThatCrazySwede’s post in full – and a stack of fairly lively responses to it – HERE on the Flat Chat Forum.

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