By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Leila de Lima has urged lawmakers to revisit the antiquated provisions of the “Condominium Act” and make it attuned to the changing lifestyles of Filipino families, especially among tenants who want to keep pets in their condominiums or apartments.
De Lima said that while it is the right of landlords and property managers to protect their properties from damages, they should be more flexible and responsive to the changing needs and demands of modern Filipino families.
The senator noted that property management or landlords impose restrictions, which include a total ban of well-behaved pets in condominiums or inside the building.
Under Republic Act No. 4726, which was enacted in 1966, property owners are authorized to impose restrictions to protect their properties and enforce rules and regulations in the buildings.
“With more and more young people opting to live in rented condominiums and apartments, the law regulating condominiums should be carefully looked into, especially on restrictive policies that are detrimental to the general welfare of tenants,” De Lima said.
“The law does not have provisions highlighting the possible needs and concerns of responsible animal-loving tenants that may arise because of several restrictions applied in condominium or apartment units,” she said.
She said the complete ban policy implemented by condominium management on renters with pets should be revisited, except probably in small flats where owning a pet may be impractical.
“But we need to find creative ways to allow them to keep their pets,” she stressed.
De Lima, who has a soft spot for dogs and cats, said the landlords and property managers may reconsider setting up a special area or nursery for pets inside their buildings or properties.
“Finding pet-friendly accommodation in the country could be challenging because oftentimes, management or owners of apartments and condominium units ban pets in the vicinity. But that should not be the case because pets are often considered part of the family already,” she pointed out.
De Lima said she hopes the government would promote and support a tenancy agreement that would allow occupants of apartments or condominiums to bring their pets with them as long as they abide by certain rules to keep their pets under control at all times.