Most homeowners associations are proud to be pet-friendly, and welcome four-legged family members are part of the community. Of course, it’s important that these pets don’t create an unpleasant environment for everyone else. To avoid unnecessary disputes and potential rule violations, here are some guidelines owners should follow to ensure their furry friends continue to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
1. Read the Rules
While pets are welcome in the homeowners association, there may be a few rules and requirements. Encourage residents to become familiar with the Association’s governing documents for more information.
Service animals are exempt from the Association’s pet requirements. However, residents should contact the HOA board or manager to ask for an accommodation to keep a service animal. Proof of the service animal’s training or a doctor’s certification may be required.
2. Keep it Clean
No one wants to see, smell or accidentally step in the “gift” your dog left on the grassy common area. So when if and when a dog needs to go, it needs to be properly disposed of, preferably in a pet waste disposal can. Not only will this keep your community looking better, but it will help keep ground water clean and help prevent the spread of fecal-borne diseases.
3. Quiet Down
Pets will be noisy from time to time. However, when loud barking or meowing becomes annoying to neighbors in the homeowners association, it’s time to help owner’s keep their pets less talkative. First, try to find out what causes the pet to get vocal: Do they get noisy when they’ve been alone and bored all day and need some playtime? Have they gone through a stressful change in environment recently? Are they suffering from health issues? Do they simply like saying “hello” to every squirrel, person or car that passes by? Once the cause is identified, remedial actions should be taken such as confining them to an area where they feel calm while the owner is away, removing or blocking as many stimuli as possible, exercising them more and spending more time with them. It may also be helpful to take them to a professional or search online for tips on how to train pets not to get too noisy.
4. No Wandering
For the safety of your pets as well as all residents, pets should not be allowed to roam unattended outside. Along with helping protect pets in the Association, leashing dog is also the law.
Pets are a welcome addition to almost any homeowners association community; just remember that there are rules to follow. While residents may feel they have the most amazing pet, other neighbors may not agree if they are repeatedly disturbed by Fido or Fluffy.