Are you a pet lover? We can relate. If you’re making the transition to a new condominium there are a few things you need to know. Don’t worry, that doesn't mean leaving your pets behind. What it does mean is in addition to the usual city by-laws, condos have a few extra rules and regulations to follow. To help sort things out, here are a few things every soon-to-be condo owner should know when it comes to their pets.
1. Condos Have Conditions
Many condo boards have introduced bylaws to set parameters for pet owners. Alberta's condo bylaws stand in addition to those enforced by municipalities. In Alberta specifically, Section 32(1) of the Condominium Property Act allows condominiums to create rules for “the control, management, and administration of units”.
Most condo bylaws mandate parameters such as the size of the animal, the number of animals you can have, and issues like barking and other noises. Owners must follow the bylaws, and failure to do so can result in anything from warnings to fines and, in the worst case scenario, eviction. Beyond the penalties, following and respecting the rules is part of being a good condo neighbour.
2. Bylaws Beat All
You may be asking yourself, what happens if condo bylaws and leases are conflicting? That’s a great question. While condo bylaws must be respected and should be aligned with lease agreements, a bylaw will always trump a lease.
Whereas a lease may be entered into by two agreeing parties, a condo bylaw is created and enforced by the condo corporation and is applicable to all units and unit holders. It’s important you secure yourself a copy of the condo bylaws if you don’t have one on hand.
3. Regular Rules Still Apply
While they aren’t specific to condos by any means, it’s important to remember the rules and regulations remain the same regardless of housing type. Every municipality has bylaws that span across public and private property; some being consistent no matter where you go. These include bylaws around barking and other noises, removing messes from public and private property and fines for not having a valid pet license.
4. Licensing Is Mandatory
If you’ve been a pet owner for any amount of time you know licensing is part of Calgary's Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. This is the case regardless of the type of home you own, but it’s important, so we thought we’d remind you just in case! Every municipality has different licensing and license renewal requirements, so it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re aware of the local requirements.
For condo owners specifically (especially apartment-style owners), up to date licensing can save a lot of headaches. In the unfortunate event a neighbour complains, making sure your pet’s license is current can save you from a lot of hassle.
The transition from a traditional detached or semi-detached home to a condo is a change in lifestyle - including how you care for your pets. However, with private green spaces in and around most condo complexes and parks dotting urban neighbourhoods, the transition to this new life is sure to be an enjoyable one. While there are a few extra bylaws to be mindful of when it comes to condo living, it really comes down to much of the same – respect for your neighbours and their property.