The strata bylaws are in place to lay the groundwork to help and protect each owner in the strata. Many stratas have voted in bylaws to restrict the number, type, or size of pets.
The most common types of pets affected by strata bylaws are cats and dogs. It’s common to see the numbers limited to 1 or 2. Sometimes we see no restrictions on pets, any pets allowed with strata approval, or no pets permitted at all. Fish and reptiles are another commonly restricted pet in stratas. Some stratas restrict the size of aquariums to minimize potential flood hazards while almost all stratas restrict the keeping of exotic pets and reptiles.
If you are a pet owner considering purchasing in a strata make sure to carefully read the bylaws concerning pets. Stratas have the authority to impose fines or pet evictions if your pets pose a violation of the bylaws.
You might come across some pet owners who “hide” their cat successfully in a no pets building because nobody has complained. The strata may not be aware of the pet bylaw infraction or may know about it but no one bothers to enforce it due to lack of complaints. Some stratas will even openly not enforce their pet bylaws unless there are complaints. Strata bylaws are complaint driven and upheld by the acting strata council.
On the other hand, a strata does have the right to be vigilant about enforcing their pet bylaws and there is no guarantee that if you buy into a very pet friendly strata that it will always be that way. Strata council membership may change over and the attitudes towards pets may shift.
To change a bylaw a strata needs it to be passed by ¾ vote by the owners in the building, not just the acting members of council. Whether the strata is looking to increase, decrease, or change the pet restriction, at the end of the day it will be up to what the majority of owners vote on.
Remember if you are considering buying into a strata you are entitled to a copy of the by laws before finalizing your purchase! Get in touch to find out how to make your home buying experience as stress free as possible!