Real Estate – Pets and Cigarettes
The rules and regulations within a condo association can sometimes affect whether or not a property will sell. I recently ran into a situation where buyers (a couple) were set on purchasing a particular condo in Boston. This property was seemingly perfect for them. It had everything they were looking for… It was updated, hardwood throughout, top floor, high ceilings, fireplace; etc. The issue they ran in to was that the association did not allow pets. When I first took them to see this property it was no issue because they did not have a pet, nor did they plan to get one. However, during the course of our search that changed. Just like the pets, this property was now banned.
This situation got me thinking on two topics I have seen more of lately. Pet and Smoking restrictions/bans within condo associations. Now, I am a dog guy… So I could never live somewhere that did not allow pets. But on the other side of the coin, I do not smoke and would never live somewhere that smoking was allowed. Smoking bans have come to the forefront because of a recent lawsuit in Boston; leading more associations to ban the habit. I think this is a good idea because it only takes one smoker-unit within a building to make the other units unsalable. The trick to ban smoking is to have the condo docs changed BEFORE a smoker moves in.
Although some people put them under the same umbrella, I think Pets and Smoking should be entirely separate issues. I have had plenty of clients walk out of a building immediately because of the smell of cigarettes. To the contrary, I have never encountered a situation where buyers disqualified a unit because pets were allowed.
Keep the dogs, quit the cigarettes.