Love thy neighbour, or at least put up with them
Spending our days in residential neighbourhoods real estate agents hear a lot about the ‘goings on’ in Brisbane’s inner city streets. And lately the number of gripes between neighbours seems to be on the rise. Arguments over tree roots blocking drains and cracking concrete, bins left in front of fences, leaves blocking gutters, noisy tradespeople and yapping dogs. The state government’s even brought in new legislation from November 1st to help resolve disputes. The new rules around trees and fences might not stop the arguments but they do clear up some of the doubts about responsibility.
We prefer to stay out of these over-the-fence blues but there’s one issue when we do offer an opinion. Surely whatever goes on in someone’s home is their business unless it has a negative impact on their neighbours? So the continued push by some bodies corporate to exclude pets from their buildings seems hard to justify. Noise, smells, mess – definitely a valid concern for other owners. But for example how can a cat in an apartment, that never goes outside or near common property, be of any concern to any neighbour? How does a body corp justify intruding into that resident’s life by preventing the pet living there?
Personally, I hate cats. Selfish, flea-bitten and obstinate things. But the Australian Companion Animal Council says research shows pets are good for an individual’s physical health and mental health. ACAC also found that in the past decade Australia’s dog population has decreased by at least 14% and its cat population has dropped by about 10%. Apartment living has been a big part of this change.
We’ve written before about the options pet-owning apartment dwellers have to challenge their body corp. Surely body corps can put sensible guidelines in place to allow pets but protect other residents from noise and smells?
And those of us who aren’t too keen on the moggies can at least be happy that appealing to a broader number of potential buyers and tenants may just bring a financial reward to all apartment owners.
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