Sharper Management


New Pets and HOA Living

Pets are family, and it is important for homeowners associations to welcome these furry friends into their communities. If you are a pet-friendly association, you are likely familiar with rules and regulations for homeowners with pets. If your association has yet to develop a pet policy (or if your HOA’s policy needs a revision), take note of the following considerations: Pet Registration Pet policies are difficult to enforce if you do not know how many pets reside in your community. Associations should require new homeowners to register their pets before moving in. Additionally, current residents should also submit pet registration forms before acquiring a new pet. Not only does pet registration enable the HOA to monitor the domestic animals within the community, but it also allows the HOA to follow-up with homeowners who violate pet rules and stay up to date on pets’ rabies vaccinations. Enforcing Waste Cleanup In pet friendly HOAs, animal waste can be one of the most common issues. If left unattended, animal waste can be a toxic and hazardous concern. When crafting your pet policy, be sure to include a requirement that all homeowners pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their waste. To encourage compliance, it is recommended to provide bags and trashcans throughout the community. Additionally, you may consider imposing fines on homeowners who fail to follow these rules. Leash Requirements Even in pet friendly HOAs, the importance of having a leash requirement cannot be overlooked. Regardless of a pet’s aggression levels, a leash requirement mitigates the risks of pets running into traffic or getting lost. To offset any disgruntled responses from homeowners, it is encouraged to offer a dog park or space where pets can roam freely without having to be leashed—this is a very appealing amenity to include in a pet friendly community. Establish Liability for Pet Owners It is incredibly important to establish liability for pet owners in your community. Not only does this protect the association in the case of injury or damage, but having a clear liability policy also reduces the risk of costly and tedious legal proceedings. With over 63 million households in the United States that include a dog, you will likely see this trend reflected in your community. It’s important to emphasize to your homeowners why such policies are necessary—ensuring the safety and appeal of your community.