I'm dating myself, but dogs roamed city streets quite freely when I was a kid. I don't mean there were a lot of strays, just that you didn't have to leash the dogs. I'd zoom around on my bike, picking up speed so I could put my feet on the handlebars and safely coast past the meaner dogs. To make matters worse, there was no requirement to pick up dog poop. Neighbours' dogs would come over and leave stinky gifts on our front grass.
Fortunately, things have changed significantly and whether you have a cat, dog, ferret or turtle, there are strata rules and city bylaws to abide by. On the flip side, these strata pet restrictions can limit your Surrey and South Surrey real estate options.
The first thing to remember that the Strata Property act covers all stratas. You can find the Strata Property Act online. It doesn't matter if you are in an apartment, townhome or condo, they are all guided by the same Act.
Every strata property has bylaws that set out the rules around pets. It's important to understand that if you are a pet owner and looking to buy a condo or townhouse that your strata rules supersedes the bylaws of Surrey, White Rock and Langley.
Do Strata Properties Allow Pets?
Sometimes is the quick answer, but you need to be careful. There are some common themes that I often see such as:
- No pets
- Only dogs under 40 pounds
- 14" height limit at shoulder
- No more than 2 pets per unit
- No reptiles
- Cats only allowed
Enforcement is another issue. I often see cat litter boxes in stratas with a "no pets" restriction. I also have seen 80 pound labrador retriever in a condos that had pet weight restrictions. I wouldn't recommend to my clients that that get offside of the pet rules because lax enforcement can change at any time.
Be honest with your realtor about your current pets and any future plans to expand your family to include a pet. Your realtor will wade through the bylaws for you and narrow your Surrey or South Surrey real estate search to include your pet parameters.
I will assume that it's unlikely that there's a significant problem with meowing cats, so let's focus on barking. Once you have found a strata that accepts pets, remember that residents of stratas are entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of their homes. That means that they have a right to complain if your beloved Fido is exercising his lungs. My mother-in-laws neighbour recently had to give away their dog due to complaints.
In most stratas, neighbours live in harmony and enjoy each others pets. As a bonus they often befriend other pet owners and even dog or cat sit for each other.
The City of Surrey has a vast source of information about your responsibility as a dog owner at Surrey's Dog Owners Responsibility webpage. If you live in White Rock or take your dog there for walks I recommend that you visit White Rock's Animal Control webpage.