How Condominium and Homeowner Associations Should Handle Pets Part 2

Some pets are considered members of the family, while others are guard dogs that protect a home from break-ins. But certain pets provide a very specific and important role to pet owners — service animals. There are various types of service animals, and they can make enforcing pet policies tricky.

In part one of this series, we discussed general rules that condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOAs) can employ. Now, we will be discussing how condominium associations and HOAs can handle emotional support and service animals. If your board is ever concerned with how to proceed in a delicate situation like this, it could benefit from our Tampa HOA property management services.

Emotional Support and Service Animals

As stipulated by the Fair Housing Act (FHA), you must not discriminate against a resident based on a mental or physical disability. You must make “reasonable accommodations” for a resident with a service animal or emotional support animal even if you have a “no pets” policy in place or the animal is above the designated pet weight limit.

When a resident suddenly claims that their pet is an emotional support animal, they may be trying to take advantage of you. If you find a resident’s claim dubious, you can ask for documentation from a licensed mental health professional for proof. While you can require the resident to pay for any damages caused by an emotional support animal, you cannot charge a pet fee, ask about the disability, demand that the animal be registered or receive specific training, or refuse to provide housing in the event that insurance does not cover an emotional support animal.    

Enforcing Policies

With the above in mind, you must do your best to enforce the rules while being reasonable. Take a compassionate approach to pet owners in your community. An emotional support animal may be providing genuine comfort to an owner suffering from PTSD, or a certified service animal may be what saves a resident’s life in the event of an emergency. Additionally, it may not be worth it to risk violating federal law or paying legal fees to resolve a dispute with an otherwise great owner.

If a resident is violating the rules, try to work with them to find a solution. That may involve finding a new home for a pet or having the resident sign an agreement stating that no more pets will be acquired once the current pet passes away. Whatever approach you decide on, it’s important that your board is consistent when dealing with pets. Don’t bend the rules for one resident if you aren’t willing to do so for another. If you’d like your HOA policies reviewed to ensure that disputes over pets are avoided, please contact our Tampa homeowners association management service at Wise Property Management.

For information about our Tampa HOA property management services, please submit our proposal request form.

Anonymous | Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 | HOA, Property Management |

SERVICE FIRST

Our founder, William C. Spivey, is a man who believes in the power of people...

LEARN MORE

FAMILY OWNED

We are a family-owned and operated company built in the Tampa Bay Area by a working-class Tampa family.

LEARN MORE

CUTTING EDGE

In today’s day and age, technological advancements are occurring at a rapid rate. These developments...

LEARN MORE

EASY TRANSITION

At WPM, we understand the sensitivity and importance of a management transition. We will proactively work in...

LEARN MORE

SEE WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

  • Couldn’t have asked for better service. It’s NEVER this easy dealing with property management companies. Great Job! Thanks so much!

    Brent I.

  • Cody Glass from the accounting department was very helpful and professional with a lot of courtesy to help me to understand and set up a new payment process.

    Eric F.

  • I work with Wise on a regular basis, as the nature of our business requires quick turn around times. They are kind and helpful when you need something.

    Natasha A.

  • I have always received great service from Wise. Any time I need help someone always answers the phone and directs me to the right department.

    Elaine R.

  • My name is George Florence, I am the Board President of Villas of Northdale, and I have been a Board member for 5 years now. We have had perfect help from Wise Property Management.

    George F.

  • Wise Property Management is the quintessential image of a professional, organized, comprehensive, deligent and knowledgeable Property Management company.

    Kristy D., South Pointe HOA Vice President.

  • I have been working with Jeanie Hunter of Wise Property for several years now. She has handled all our Tampa Villas South association issues promptly and with great efficiency.

    Ken C., Tampa Villas South HOA Vice President.

  • Very easy to work with and everyone is friendly. We have worked with them for a very long time and love the experience. They take pride in their work and truly enjoy what they do.

    Joey V.

  • Contact Information

  • Community Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.