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trata 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, and it’s common to see the numbers limited to one or two. Sometimes we see no restrictions on pets, any pets allowed with strata approval, or no pets permitted at all, with fish and reptiles being a commonly restricted pet group 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're 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.Strata bylaws lay the framework for all owners to live harmoniously together. Among other things, your strata will have bylaws for pets that regulate the number, type, and size of pets allowed within the community.

Dogs and cats are the most common pets restricted in strata bylaws

It’s common to see dogs and cats limited to one or two, or one of each, but you may see some strata bylaws don’t allow any dogs or cats at all - or some that allow them only with strata approval. It’s also becoming more common to have the size of aquariums restricted to minimize potential floods, while almost all strata bylaws restrict exotic animals and reptiles.

Read the strata bylaws carefully when it comes to pets

When a strata is first created, they’ll get a default set of bylaws from the government called the “standard” strata bylaws <http://www.bclaws.ca>, and even this very first set of bylaws has restrictions on pets; a reasonable number of fish and hamsters, two birds, and one dog or cat. If you’re a pet owner considering purchasing in a strata, or a strata owner considering purchasing a pet, read the bylaws carefully. The strata can charge fines, or worse yet, evict pets that don’t align with the bylaws.

The strata may be pet friendly today, but there's no guarantee it will always be that way

You might come across pet owners who hide their cats and the strata never knows, or at least nobody complains. Even if you move into a strata that is incredibly pet-friendly today, it may not always be that way, or a no pets building could become pet central. In general, if a pet restriction bylaw is brought and you are a current pet owner, you would have until the end of your pet's natural life before you would have to adhere. And of course, guide dogs and service dogs are always exempt from any strata bylaws.

All owners have a say in the pet bylaws - not just the strata council

As more and more homeowners are living in stratas than ever before, pets are becoming a popular topic. Any owner can propose additions, deletions, or changes to bylaws, including changes to the way pets are managed in the community. All it takes to change a bylaw is a ¾ vote in favour of the change in question. Although the strata council may be the ones enforcing the bylaws on pets, they are not the people who create the bylaws - that is up to each community owner to cast their vote and help shape the community.

Remember, if you're considering buying into a strata, you are entitled to a copy of the bylaws before finalizing your purchase!

Get in touch with us to find out how to make your home buying experience as stress-free as possible.

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