Property Management

Building Pet Policies: Some Best Practices

To the joy of some condo owners and the frustration of others, most buildings have some type of pet policy in place. These policies are really for the protection of the other residents — sooner or later, someone will come along with enough animals to really test the patience of his or her neighbors.

The main things that a building pet policy should cover are:

  1. What kinds of animals are allowed
  2. How many animals are allowed per unit
  3. Registrations and licensing requirements
  4. Day-to-day regulations like containment and waste disposal

When it comes to what types of pets are allowed, it’s not uncommon to see exceptions for certain breeds of otherwise allowed animals, such as certain dogs breeds that may be more aggressive. Weight limits are also sometimes applied — for example, a weight limit on dogs over 50 pounds.

It’s also common to require all animals to have the appropriate identification, licenses and vaccinations.

Finally, you want to give yourself the appropriate leeway to chance building pet policies as needed. Be sure to include a clause that says pet policies can be changed with a certain amount of warning time (3 months, for example). However, you’ll likely want to grandfather in any existing pets in the building, as requiring owners to get rid of their existing pets is typically not well received.
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