Property editor of the NZ Herald

New Auckland estate pet clampdown: Cat and dog numbers capped

The number of dogs and cats will be restricted at a new Auckland housing estate.
The number of dogs and cats will be restricted at a new Auckland housing estate.

Moggies and hounds won't be running rampant at a new Hobsonville housing project on Auckland's north-western fringes.

Townhouse owners will only be allowed one big dog or two small ones. Alternatively, they can have two cats, or one dog of any size living with a single cat.

So a great Dane would be a solitary one, while two poodles could co-habit. On the feline front, two Birman cats could be living there, or one Burmese with perhaps a German shepherd or Labrador for company.

Far East, which has developed projects in China, Hong Kong, Australia and has now established here, put the rules in place before building 199 residences off Hobsonville Rd.

Its website for Hobsonville Quarter says: "The current rules will permit you to own one large or medium-sized dog or two small/toy dogs or two cats or one dog of any size and one cat."

But Far East's marketing manager who owns two dogs, acknowledges they would be classified as "large" and therefore would be banned from his project.

"I've got a border collie and an Irish setter," admitted Daniel Zou. But he also explained he has lots of room. He lives on an 800sq m Massey property where there is ample room for his dogs.

"This is for the community's benefit. We had feedback from some developers in Hobsonville that there were too many pets. Some owners annoyed other owners and purchasers," Zou said.

Many Tenancy Tribunal orders mention pets in properties and claims for damage caused by dogs or cats are regularly heard.

Pet numbers and sizes will be limited at Hobsonville Quarter. This is how the project could look on completion.
Pet numbers and sizes will be limited at Hobsonville Quarter. This is how the project could look on completion.

Helen O'Sullivan, chief executive of apartment developer Ockham Residential, said: "We provide for pets to be pre-approved by the body corporate with that consent not to be unreasonably withheld.

"But if the animals cause nuisance to other residents or owners, consent can be withdrawn. Any body corporate secretary will tell you: pets are a perennial bone of contention," O'Sullivan said.

"But our view is that if the pet is within your apartment and not causing nuisance to others, it's really the unit owner's business what sort of animal you choose to own. If the animal causes nuisance to others or damage to common property, then it is a problem.

"Big dogs can be old, calm and well-trained, and small dogs can be badly behaved, poorly trained and constant barkers and no rule regarding size and type of pet can take that into account," she said.

"We think our approach provides a balance between the rights of pet owners and the rights of other residents to quiet enjoyment of their property and common areas. Once a body corporate is formed and under its own steam, the community can make its own rules for pets.

How the interior of Hobsonville Quarter could look on completion.
How the interior of Hobsonville Quarter could look on completion.

"None of this overrides bylaws with regard to numbers and types of animals in urban areas which overlay any provisions a body corporate might implement and questions of humane treatment of animals, particularly dogs of an age and size which need a lot of exercise"

Hobsonville Quarter also has restrictions on owners wanting to let their places to tenants: "You may rent your home out but you will need to let the residents society know.

"All homeowners as members of the residents society must make written application to the society if they want to rent their property and ensure that a form is completed by themselves and their prospective tenants. Tenants are required to abide by the residents society rules."

Zou said an initial 39 terraced residences worth $43 million would be developed on the site at 1 Falcon Crescent between the Upper Harbour Motorway and Hobsonville Rd.

The 2.3-hectare site was purchased from Crown Asia Pacific with resource consent in place but a variation to that had been sought for Far East's plans, he said. That is yet to be granted.

The three- to four-bedroom terraced homes of 150sq m to 193sq m would sell from $980,000 to $1.2 million.

However, plans are for a further 160 smaller more affordable places, "apartments, terraces, duplexes and walk-ups".

- NZ Herald

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