EPMEPM: NewsVIC Real Estate News

VCAT determination upholds pets’ rights

Developer Caydon has welcomed a recent landmark determination from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) that could see the end of blanket bans on pets in apartments, townhouses and units.

The determination came after Melbourne dog owner Madison Brewster contested the banishment of her 4-year-old cavoodle Hamish by the owners corporation of the Eaglemont townhouse she rents, despite landlord and property owner Greg Watkins consenting to her having the dog.

Caydon Chief Operating Officer Jarrod Stratton said the ruling could require owner corporations and body corporates to rethink blanket restrictions on pets, which he said were out of step with expectations of many contemporary owner occupiers and investors.

“Pet ownership is certainly on the increase with many couples and individuals choosing not to have children, so we are finding that the option of having a small dog or cat in our developments is the expectation rather than the norm,” Mr Stratton said.

“Pet ownership is a lifestyle choice for hundreds of thousands of people so it’s actually counter-productive for a developer or owners corporation not to factor this into their policies and planning, whether for an existing housing development or one that’s in the pipeline.

“For Caydon, having pets in our apartment developments is a part of a deliberate well-being strategy that helps to transform buildings into interactive communities instead of just places where people live. They can be therapeutic and relaxing, reducing the heart beat rate and lowering blood pressure, with a study at Cambridge University in the UK finding pet ownership can produce health improvements in as little as one monthi.

“Every one of our Melbourne developments is pet friendly and we certainly discourage blanket bans that prevent owners and occupiers from having a small dog or cat. Of course, apartment owners have every right to impose their own pet restrictions on tenants, which is significantly different from an across-the-board ban administered by an owners corporation,” he said.

Other elements of Caydon’s building wellbeing strategy include reasonable walking distance to amenities, great access to natural light, fresh air and ventilation, provision of personal fitness options, and natural landscaping offering places to sit, reflect and enjoy plant and bird life.

i)  Dr M. Becker, The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing

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