|Real Estate Companies Are Finally
Taking Better Coexistence of People and Companion Animals Seriously
"Living With Dogs and Cats in Collective
Housing" Goes into Third Printing Free Distribution Continues
The textbook "Living
with Dogs and Cats in Collective Housing" has undergone a third
printing of 20,000 copies, and we continue to distribute the text
free of charge. Anyone living in collective housing and interested
in keeping pets, educators who would like to use it as a textbook,
or those who need a useful reference for establishing rules concerning
pet-keeping are welcome to apply to the Companion Animal Information
and Research Center (CAIRC) for the book. Application instructions
may be found at the end of this newsletter.
published this textbook first in February 1998 as part of our overall
effort to promote a better life together for human beings and pets.
In April last year we published a new edition, and have distributed
about 20,000 copies so far. Over the past two years, we have received
many requests from people interested in keeping pets in collective
housing, which depleted our stock. So we decided to print 20,000
more copies this time.
CAIRC held a symposium, "Living with Pets in Collective Housing,"
last fall for members of housing-related industries. More than 300
people participated in this gathering, for what proved to be a very
large event. Big responses to the textbook and strong interest shown
by people from housing-related industries at the symposium are evidence
that many people are seriously tackling issues related to the coexistence
of people and pets. CAIRC will commit itself to supporting each
of these real estate companies working on pets-allowed housing.
newsletter, we explore the future potential of pets-allowed collective
housing by including results of questionnaires for members of housing-related
industries who participated the symposium, as well as opinions from
developers already building pets-allowed collective housing.
CAIRC Symposium Questionnaire: 55 Percent
of Real - Estate Companies Planning or Building Pets-Allowed Collective
symposium was held on October 18, 1999, and featured lectures by
three experts, as well as a video produced by CAIRC to raise awareness
of coexistence between people and pets in collective housing. About
320 people from fields such as real estate, the media and animal
organizations took part. The questionnaire was distributed among
those in the real estate business. The following are some of the
interesting responses we gleaned from the 141 survey sheets collected.
16 percent of developers said they had already sold pets-allowed
collective housing plans, and intend to continue to do so, while
1 percent said they had sold such housing but have no plans to do
so again. Of all respondents, 39 percent said they are currently
planning or will soon plan such housing developments. Eighteen percent
said they have yet to decide on the matter and 26 percent gave no
response. In sum, 55 percent of the total are either now planning
or will soon begin planning pets-allowed collective housing projects.
As for their impressions of the symposium, more than 65 percent said it left them
with a good understanding of the current state of affairs. Here are several notable
opinions expressed: "The video introduction was very good. I hope more people
get a chance to see it" (a woman in the housing management service business);
"So far pets have not been permitted very much, but it was interesting to
see the examples in the video on Kobe City" (a man in the construction business);
"Through the lectures, I came to understand the importance of coexistence
between people and pets" (a man in the real estate business); "I believe
that the public administration's involvement in building pets-allowed collective
housing will encourage many landlords to change their thinking on future condominium
construction" (a woman in the real estate business).
are just some of the many opinions in support of the content of
the video shown at the symposium. We still cannot say that a consensus
has been reached about having pets at collective housing, but it
is certain that some public administrations have recognized the
advantages of having pets and have actually begun building pets-allowed
housing. This is an indication that society itself has begun to
change. The opinion was also expressed that "it was too bad
we had little time for a question and answer session," (a man
in the real estate business). In fact, many questions were raised
about facilities and regulations on keeping pets, but not all could
be answered due to time limitations. However, we asked experts to
give advice and answers in response to such questions, and were
able to get back to the questioners with the information.
Condominiums Built in 1996 or Later Are
Tokyo Tatemono Co.
shown in the results of the questionnaires at the symposium, many
companies are either building or planning pets-allowed condominiums.
However, the overall industry system that would facilitate such
projects is far from complete. At the present stage, each company
has to conduct its own marketing and independently lay its own groundwork.
Still, the fact remains that such companies are building condominiums
based on detailed surveys and by taking into account users' needs.
We talked with two developing company officials.
Asanuma, deputy manager of the development planning division at
Tokyo Tatemono Co., said: "Since the building of 'Plein Vert
Iruma Musashino' (8 stories, 176 units) in 1996, our company's products
have generally been pets-allowed, except for those built jointly
with other companies. Among condominiums in the city center area,
we did not specially change the designs of facilities, but enriched
what we call 'software' things like preparing detailed rules
on pet keeping and setting up a pet-owners' group at the same time
as we set up a condominium management association. As for condominiums
built in suburbs, we provide interior design changes such as offering
options for wallpaper and carpets that better withstand the dirt
and damage often associated with pets. At any rate, for both pet-owners
and non-pet-owners to live comfortably, it is important to make
not just detailed specifications but also detailed rules."
Tokyo Tatemono, the quarterly journal Suteki-na Sumai ("Wonderful
Housing"), distributed to buyers and prospective customers
of housing, sometimes includes features on pets. Issue No. 37 issued
this March included an article based on the results of a questionnaire
for its housing circle members concerning housing and pets. The
article revealed that one out of four households owned pets, and
such results are taken into account in determining users' needs.
The same issue also included an article on the Good Idea Award event,
which had pets as its theme.
we did not appeal to prospective clients by stressing that the housing
would be pets-allowed. But when we did so upon building suburban
condominiums, many prospective customers showed interest,"
said Asanuma, adding that he became certain that there is strong
demand for pets-allowed housing.
Sanwa Kosan Co. in southern Japan's Oita prefecture is also eagerly
working on pets-allowed condominium projects. The condominium "Nakakasuga"
(11 stories, 21 units), which it will put on sale this September
and deliver in October next year, is a condominium for which Sanwa
Kosan President Shunichi Takasaki himself gathered information and
thoroughly considered pet issue. Since it will also manage the building
after sales, company staff and Takasaki himself plan to begin studying
in April to become certified pet care advisors.
Takasaki said: "I lived in a condominium sold by our company and owned a
pet. I myself faced the pet issue. I know from my own experience that having a
pet around is very conducive to children's psychological growth. Also, in the
case of an elderly couple living in my neighborhood, their pet was their emotional
mainstay. Since urbanization has stepped up, even in regional cities, I believe
pets are an important way for people to soothe their emotions, and they provide
an important link to other people as well. That is a major reason behind our building
of this condominium."
"Nakakasuga," foot-washing and waste disposal areas were
placed on the shared area of the first floor while sinks were installed
on each floor's balcony. Among individual-use areas, electrical
outlets were installed at relatively high positions in response
to cats' behavior, while wallpaper was divided at the waist-height
for the same reason. Air purifiers were installed in the rooms and
also cleats for temporarily holding leashes were set up near the
entrance, while hard cork was used for flooring. As for "software",
they plan to carry out various activities such as a tie-up with
an animal hospital to conduct annual health checkups, as well as
create rules governing pet-ownership. They also plan to create an
agreement on pet-ownership intended for residents who do not own
The Potential of Pets-Allowed Condominiums
Expands with Cooperation by Industry and Pet-Owners
Tokyo Tatemono's four years of experience with pets-allowed condominium
construction, an unexpected problem has occurred.
had a buyer who owns a guide dog for the blind," said Asanuma.
"But, according to rules on pet ownership, there were several
problems such as the size of the dog. Therefore, we added a new
clause to the pet ownership rules, according to which 'a guide dog
for blindness or other disability, designated by clause 2, article
8 of the Road Traffic Act, is exempted," said Asanuma.
is no doubt that pets-allowed condominiums will increase in the
future. As each company develops its business strategy, pet awareness
will become increasingly a matter of common sense. Tokyo Tatemono's
new "Free Plan System" is an example.
this system, our company provides land and builds a condominium
together with our customers, so we are able to respond to each customer's
needs. Of course, we need to build a consensus with residents in
the neighborhood as well. But it is possible to have a plan in which
customers who want to own pets take the lead in building pets-allowed
condominiums," said Asanuma.
Meeting increasingly diverse needs is a good thing, but since pets are living
creatures, they do pose a wide range of issues. However, CAIRC is aware of the
important role companion animals play, and believes that coexistence between people
and animals will better change our lives. Real estate-related companies have finally
begun full-fledged work in this area. CAIRC would like to respond in many ways
and continue our support for people's efforts toward coexistence between people