Buying with Pets! Condo Policies & Bylaws
So you are buying a condo apartment or townhouse and you want to bring your pet dog, cat, birds & fish. What to do?
When searching for a condo, keep in mind, pet policies & condo bylaws vary from condo to condo. Before putting an offer in on any condo, ask your REALTOR® to investigate the pet policies & bylaws of the complex. You don't want to spend money on an inspection and reviewing condominium documents before finding out your pet will not be allowed in the complex.
Questions to ask your REALTOR®
- What kind of Pets are allowed & not allowed? Just Cats? Just Dogs?
- How many of each type of animal is allowed?
- Is there a maximum weight for Pets. Mostly applies to Dogs?
Typically there are weight restrictions on dogs, especially apartment buildings.
- Does the condo board have to approve the Pet?
Mostly yes.Try to get a feeling from the management company on how relaxed or strict the condo board is towards pets. We once dealt with a condo board that had the simple "Pets to be approved by condo board" bylaw even though they also had in the bylaws that pets under 20lbs were ok along with a pet application. The condo board denied a Mini Labradoodle and gave no specific reason. Work with your real estate agent on finding out if the board will be ok with your pet(s).
- Are there specific breeds of Dogs not allowed?
Some condo boards have specific breeds that they will not approve that they deem dangerous and aggressive.
- Other than the bylaws, is there a Pet Policy form you can review?
Some condo boards have additional policies that are not in the bylaws. Also, it's very important you check condo documents such as board minutes and AGM's for discussions on any future change of policy or bylaws regarding Pets.
- Can you send in a pet application to the condo board for approval prior to putting an offer in?
The Listing agent and Sellers should be ok with this request. This would save money for the Buyer not having to pay to review documents or have a home inspection. Also saves the Seller from tying up the property with the Buyer, only to find out the pet is not approved by the board.
- Where can I walk my Dog?
Even if your pet is allowed in your unit, don't assume that your pet is allowed on any common areas in the complex like green space, courtyards etc. There might be restrictions on where you can walk your dog. Take a look at access to public parks & off-leash parks in Calgary.
- I see pets in the complex. No need to ask.
Always find out about pet policies. Some condo boards have banned pets and grandfather in the current owner's pets. This means those pets are exempt from the new rules/bylaws and once the pet has passed away or found a new home, the current owner cannot get a new pet. If they sell, the new owner will be subject to the current bylaw and will not be allowed to have a pet.
- Get it in Writing!
The proof is in the pudding. Getting a pet approval IN WRITING FROM THE CONDO BOARD is the only way to be sure your pet(s) will be allowed in the complex.
Here is a sample of a Pet Policy / Application form
SAMPLE PET APPROVAL FORM
Having your pet reside at "Calgary Condo Complex Suites" is a privilege, not a right. Please be aware that in our condominium by-law: 5.A. (c) - on page 9, it specifically states that:
“An owner shall not: keep or allow any animal, snake, reptile, livestock, fowl (other than birds, fish or small animals restrained at all times in enclosures inside the unit) at any time on the Common Property or the Corporation property without prior written permission from the Board of Directors, which approval the Directors may arbitrarily withhold and may, if given, be withdrawn anytime on seven (7) days’ notice to that effect. All approved dogs and cats must be hand leashed and kept under control at all times and shall not at any time be left unattended in a privacy area. No dogs or cats at any time shall be in the central grassed courtyard area. All defecation must be immediately cleaned up.
Your agreement to maintain the following rules and regulations regarding your pet will allow other residents the right to quiet enjoyment of their unit.
1. All dogs must be licensed (City of Calgary by-law 23M89, Sec. 6(a) - $250.00 fine).
2. All droppings must be picked up immediately, not left until later. Carry a bag or container with you when you walk your pet (City of Calgary by-law 23M89,Sec 4 (e) $100 fine)
3. Dogs and Cats must be on a leash less than six (6) feet in length at all times, and must not run at large (City of Calgary by-law 23M89, Sec. 3 - $100.00 fine and dog will be seized and sent to the pound).
4. Excessive barking will be treated as a noise complaint (City of Calgary by-law 23M89, Sec. 4 (a)(v) - $100.00 fine).
5. Cats must be confined inside the unit or enclosed area and not allowed to wander at large (City of Calgary by-law 23M90, Sec 164 (3) - $50 fine).
6. Large or dangerous breeds of dogs, such as Dobermans, St. Bernards, Pitbulls, etc., will not be allowed. Determining whether a dog is large or dangerous shall be the discretion of the Board of Directors.
7. Pets are not to be tied or loose on patios or balconies.
8. Pets must be taken off the condominium property for walks.
9. Cats are not allowed to wander halls or common areas. They must also be leashed or held outside the suite.
10. Cat litter must be disposed of in a tied plastic bag and placed directly in the garbage receptacle to avoid odor.
11. Owners will be responsible for any and all damage caused by their pet(s), whether it is Condominium Corporation or other private property.
I, ________________________ of unit _____, 123 Condo Avenue., Calgary, Alberta, have read the above rules and regulations pertaining to my pet(s), _______________ and agree to adhere to them at all times. I understand that failure to comply may result in loss of pet privileges.
_________________________________ __________________________________ Resident Signature
If you have any questions regarding buying a home please give Manny Aldea a call at 403-389-7355. We are happy to help.