Triumph for tenants: VCAT rules against pet bans`

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The blanket bans on pets in apartments, units, and townhouses could soon come to an end with the recent landmark determination from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

VCAT ruled against the owners corporation of an Eaglemont townhouse after it banished a four-year-old cavoodle, Hamish, owned by Melbourne renter Madison Brewster, despite getting a consent from landlord and property owner Greg Watkins.

According to Caydon chief operating officer Jarrod Stratton, the recent VCAT determination could force many owner-occupiers to rethink blanket restrictions on pets.

“Pet ownership is a lifestyle choice for hundreds of thousands of people so it’s actually counter-productive for a developer or owners corporation not to factor this into their policies and planning, whether for an existing housing development or one that’s in the pipeline,” said Stratton.

“Pet ownership is certainly on the increase with many couples and individuals choosing not to have children, so we are finding that the option of having a small dog or cat in our developments is the expectation rather than the norm.”

Stratton also cited a study from the Cambridge University titled, ‘The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing,’ which showed that pets have therapeutic and relaxing effects on their owners, hence improving their health in as little as one month.

“For Caydon, having pets in our apartment developments is a part of a deliberate well-being strategy that helps to transform buildings into interactive communities instead of just places where people live,” he said.

“Every one of our Melbourne developments is pet-friendly and we certainly discourage blanket bans that prevent owners and occupiers from having a small dog or cat.”

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