A question I am often asked by clients is, "How can I make sure the condo I am buying is pet friendly?" It's a great question. If you're a buyer who say owns an 80lb Lab, it's important to find out ahead of time if an association allows a pet. That's my job as a buyer's agent to find out. And it really all comes down to the condo association rules.
What are Condo Docs?
Condo docs are the rules and regulations that govern a condominium association. In them you'll find the pet policy, among a host of other things. Very important to review prior to purchase.
Pet Policy in Condo Docs
Some things to keep in mind. While, some associations may have flexibility with the pet rules, but some may not. If possible, it's good to speak with a trustee or property manager to find out even before viewing a property.
Here is something that can happen and has happened to me and one of my buyer clients. He stumbled upon an open house and LOVED the property. The problem was, once I did my research, I found out that the condo association wouldn't allow his pet.
NO WAY at all! So he was out of luck with that condo unfortunately.
But as my client and I continued his search he compared every unit to the one he loved but literally couldn't have (unless of course he got rid of "Rufus") which obviously wasn't an option. This became quite frustrating for him as no place really was up to par as that one he loved.
This is why it's so important to find out ahead of time about building policies prior to even viewing a condo.
Some other things to watch out for:
- Specific rules on size and weight of pets - Some "pet friendly" condo docs limit pets to be under a certain weight limit. Know your pet and make sure he fits within the guidelines.
- Limits on the number of pets - If you have a cat and a dog, but the condo docs limit you to one pet, you could have a problem
- Regulations on noise disruptions - You know your pet better than anyone. If "Rufus" is a barker, and the condo docs put some limitation or restriction on noise, you could run into problems down the road with the other residents.
- Ownership allowances for pets - Some condo docs limit pets to only condo owners, not renters. So if you plan to rent out your condo, and the tenant has a dog, beware.
The good news?
If you're a responsible pet owner, there are plenty of buildings that allow for well behaved pets under the condo rules, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding the right home for you.
And, with my client mentioned above, we eventually found a great home and he's now under agreement heading towards closing....