Do Pets Present a Problem? By Mark McLean, TREB President
It is estimated that the City of Toronto is home to as many as 250,000 dogs and 160,000 cats, and across Canada, more than half of all households include a furry, feathered or scaled friend, contributing to a multi-billion dollar a year pet industry in this country. Given that studies have shown the average dog can achieve the intelligence of a two-year-old child, it’s no small wonder that canines and other pets are seen as a member of the family in so many households. Your dear little Fido’s presence isn’t endearing to everyone though, and it’s important to recognize this fact before you set out to buy or sell a home.
If you are planning to stake your claim in the Greater Toronto Area’s booming condominium market, be sure that you’re aware of a building’s rules before making any firm commitments. Many condominium communities not only restrict the number of pets you can have but also their size, often limiting them to less than 30 pounds. As with every aspect of a transaction, it’s essential that the specifics are documented, and in this case, you will find a condominium’s pet restrictions noted in the rules that regulate the owners’ living environment, which are outlined in its status certificate. Since the status certificate includes a number of other important details including utility and common-element fees, it’s advisable to make any offer conditional on review of this vital document. Even if you’re leaning toward a freehold property, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with local pet by-laws, which can vary significantly between municipalities.
When selling a property, eliminating every trace of fur and odour from your home is a must. Also consider that Fido and Fluffy’s paws travel across many different surfaces throughout the course of the day, and unlike you, they don’t have the opportunity to remove shoes and wash hands. To provide for the best return on your investment, it’s essential to keep the product that you’re taking to market spotlessly clean, and to have a plan to relocate all four-legged family members quickly when the call for a showing comes. This also applies to your exotic pets: you will need a plan for making Izzy and Snowball scarce as well. Doing so will not only make your home more saleable, it will safeguard your pets, as having strangers wander through their territory could at best make them uncomfortable and at worst, disappear. Just as you would remove your most valuable possessions from your home before a showing, relocating your animal family members is in everyone’s best interest.