With more domestic animals in Queensland than humans it was only a matter of time til we heard the patter of little paws throughout the inner city. While landlords may not be as open to the idea, owner-residents are bringing their 4-leggers with them in big numbers. Across Australia almost two-thirds of households have a pet – there’s 819,000 dogs and 443,000 cats in this state alone!
So rather than designing near city apartments, townhouses and small lot homes to be child-friendly, architects need to be thinking about the moggies and rat-sized dogs that provide company (and security) for so many Brisbanites. In many countries of course pets have co-habitated with us for many years in medium and high density. Experts say a view of the outside world, places for play and noise separation from neighbours are some of the big issues.
Inner city living appeals to households pre-kids, no-kids and post-kids and naturally these groups are often the same ones to enjoy a pet’s company. So it’s simple logic that if you go to sell you’ll take longer and may get a lower price if pets aren’t allowed in your building and a huge part of your market is ruled out. Landlords know that allowing a pet often produces a premium rent, and managed well, the impact on the property should be minimal if any.
Despite what you’ve heard most apartment buildings can accept pets. The standard Queensland by-laws give the committee rights to approve an animal, and it’s rare for the developer to have changed these in the set-up. Usually it’s the committee that haven’t had help dealing with the issue so, worried about potential for complaints (and in an unpaid and thankless job) they naturally duck for cover when the question’s raised. We recently sold a penthouse apartment where the owners’ main reason for moving was to buy a dog. One major development recently promoted its pet-friendliness as a key selling feature in a big ad campaign.
Of course there’s also a market for those who aren’t happy to share the lift with a sniffy-nosed mutt and some buyers are seeking out apartments where pets are banned. But with so much interest, and money, in the issue we do expect plenty more inner city buildings to bite the bullet and adopt some sensible rules for living in harmony with our furry, feathered and finned companions.