Welcome sign for pet owners

PROPOSED reforms to strata laws to allow pets into more apartment buildings could increase the value of pet-friendly buildings, real estate agents predict.

Already agents have noticed that apartments advertised as welcoming pets attract more potential buyers and often achieve higher prices as a result.

"There's no doubt being pet-friendly increases the desirability and therefore the value in the marketplace of apartments," the chief executive of McGrath Estate Agents, John McGrath, said.

"There's been a major shift in the past decade or two to apartments being chosen by owner-occupiers, baby boomers and empty-nesters and many of those keep, or want to keep, pets.

"If pets are excluded, you're also excluding many wealthy, qualified buyers from the competition for your property, and I'd say you could be costing yourself around five per cent of the value."

The proposed strata law reforms will change model bylaws from a default position that says pets aren't allowed unless the owners' corporation (OC) decides otherwise, to ones where they are permitted, subject to whatever conditions the OC might set. These will initially only apply to new strata schemes and an OC can still choose to ban pets.

"There was a strong view in the many submissions the government received on strata reform that pet ownership was unreasonably restricted in many strata schemes," a Fair Trading spokesperson said.

More than two-thirds of Australian households now include pets — the highest incidence of pet ownership, per household, in the world.

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