How Condominium and Homeowner Associations Should Handle Pets Part 1

Pets can be a well-behaved source of love and support for a family. Alternatively, they could be a nuisance or even a danger to the community. For this reason, condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOAs) often put rules in place to limit the type and number of pets that a resident can have. But with any rule there comes the question of enforcement and extenuating circumstances.

In this two-part series, we’ll be providing some tips for condominium and homeowner associations that need help handling pets. For assistance with your community management needs, including how to handle four-legged companions, turn to our Tampa condominium management services at Wise Property Management.

Safety First

All dogs, no matter how well behaved, are potentially dangerous. For this reason, dogs walking in the community should always be kept on a leash. Loose dogs are a danger to themselves and to other pets and residents. It could be hit by a car, enter a neighbor’s property, or even attack another resident. It’s easy to keep a pet on a leash. It’s not easy to deal with the potential aftermath of them getting loose. This goes without saying, but your HOA should consider banning any dangerous or exotic animals. You never want to hear the news that your resident’s pet python has escaped.

Encourage Responsibility   

The last thing you want to do is scare away your quiet and respectful residents by failing to enforce pet policies. Many of these residents will not be pet owners and may find it tedious to have to deal with their neighbor’s pets. Dogs that bark throughout the day and night will make any resident consider a move. Additionally, stepping in dog droppings can ruin someone’s day in an instant. Encourage your residents to always pick up after their dogs and report nuisance barking.

Be Clear

Your condo association or HOA should have very specific rules regarding pets. You may also enforce a blanket rule banning all pets if this seems like the best choice for your community. Some policies allow for only tanked pets, while others may welcome all four-legged companions. Whatever your rules are, you need to be sure that they are properly conveyed to all residents. This can be easily accomplished by including any pertinent pet information with their welcome documents.

Document Everything

Whenever there is an incident involving a pet in the community, your association must document it. Proper recordkeeping can also protect you and back up your claims in the event that a dispute arises regarding a resident’s pet. It can also indicate when there is a pattern of nuisance pet behavior that needs to be addressed. If your association is struggling with recordkeeping, our Tampa condominium management services can ensure that all documents are properly filed and maintained.

Enforcing a pet policy isn’t always easy, especially with emotional support animals. For more information on how to handle pets in the community you oversee, read part two.  

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