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Dog Owners Buying in Strata Communities: Five Ways a Conveyancer Can Help

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A conveyancer can help with every aspect of a real estate transaction from preparing and lodging legal documents to calculating tax rates. If you are buying a home in a strata community in particular, a conveyancer can help you understand the legal implications of this type of purchase, and if you are a dog owner, they can help you understand the specific rules and regulations concerning dog ownership in a strata community.

If you are a dog owner considering buying a property in a strata community, here's how a conveyancer can help you through the process:

1. Understanding strata by-laws and state legislation

When you buy a property in a strata community, you are affected both by the by-laws of the strata and your state laws. Because they work closely with the laws on an everyday basis, conveyancers have a clear working model of the laws in the states in which they practice, and they can easily lend you their expertise to make sure the strata by-laws are in accordance with state laws.

If the laws are not compatible, your conveyancer can help you approach the strata community to discuss modifying its by-laws.

2. Drafting a dog ownership proposal

In many cases, strata communities require dog owners to present a written proposal in order to have a dog in their units. A conveyancer can help you draft the proposal, or they can help you decide what to include. In most cases, you simply need to include a description of your dog and how you are going to take care of it.

3. Understanding and responding to rejections for dog ownership

Strata communities that require written permission are not allowed to deny permission frivolously. If you are denied permission to keep a large dog in your unit because you plan to work 12 hours per day with no plans to hire a dog walker or sitter, that is a reasonable rejection.

However, if you have a non-aggressive dog breed and a well thought out plan for caring for him and you are still rejected, a conveyancer can help you understand and respond to the rejection.

4. Creating exceptions for therapy dogs

Regardless of the by-laws of the strata community where you are buying, you are allowed to keep therapy dogs in your unit. In most cases, when people think of therapy dogs, they think of dogs that help the blind or the deaf.

However, the definition of therapy dogs has expanded over the years to include dogs that help people with a number of ailments including mental health issues.

In order for your dog to be considered a therapy dog, he needs to have adequate training and registration, and you need a note from your doctor saying that you require a therapy dog.

Unfortunately, emotional support dogs who help people with mental health issues are not always given the same rite of passage as dogs who help people with physical disabilities. However, it's important to keep in mind that in some cases, dogs who are not allowed to roam freely in shops and public places may still be allowed to live in no-pets allowed strata communities.

Your conveyancer can help you understand the relevant rules and regulations and find a way for your therapy dog to live with you.

5. Assessing potential changes to your pet policy

If your pet is allowed to live in your strata unit, there may be occasions where this permission is taken away. Namely, if the owners corporation decides that the animal is a nuisance or a danger to other residents, permission to keep the pet on the premises may be revoked.

Before you sign the agreement to buy property in a strata community, you should understand the reasons why your dog may be expelled from the property, and again, a skilled conveyancer can help you understand these rules.