Creating a Pet-Friendly Community: Support Animals in HOAs

Creating a Pet-Friendly Community: Support Animals in HOAs

Did you know that almost two-thirds of American households have pets? Animals are a popular way for people to have companionship, learn responsibility, and welcome furry friends into their homes.

If you run an HOA community, you may wonder whether to accept potential tenants or homeowners with support animals.

Although it can be tricky, you can find ways to benefit everyone. Here are some important things to consider for HOA living.

Flexibility is Key

Someone may have a support animal for a variety of reasons, the most common being emotional assistance. Therefore, it is vital to consider the needs of the owner when they go through the application process.

If the animal is well-behaved, such as a trained dog or cat, then you may feel more at ease about allowing it into your HOA living space.

Create Pet-Friendly Spaces

Most people like pets, so pet-friendly spaces can bring positivity to any HOA community. Of course, you should always follow existing HOA rules, like having designated areas where support animals can be off-leash.

You can set aside a small area of grass to be a dog park, or reserve times during the week for owners to bring their canine friends for get-togethers in public spaces.

Know the Different Types of Animals

The laws regarding support animals differ depending on the state you live in. For instance, in Texas, emotional support animals are not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

Make sure you know if the animal in question is a support animal and not a service animal. A service animal is licensed and assists its owners with tasks that they cannot do because of a disability.

You cannot legally discriminate against people who have service animals. However, it may still be a good idea to accept those with emotional support animals.

Listen to Concerns of Non-Pet Owners

Those in your community who do not own pets should also feel valued. You need to listen to feedback if there are concerns about pets in the HOA community.

Some of the most common problems from pets include noise complaints, property damage, and pet waste. You may need to update rules and policies regularly so pet owners and non-pet owners can coexist peacefully.

Establish Boundaries

Pet-friendly spaces are fantastic, but you should also enforce policies where pets aren't allowed. For instance, pets indoors can cause hazards and wreak havoc on those with allergies.

Put up signage if necessary and send out communication if there are any changes to these policies.

Consider Support Animals For Your HOA Community

Support animals can provide amazing benefits to members of your HOA community. With the right policies and guidelines, your residents and their animals can thrive.

Are you part of an HOA community in San Antonio, TX? PMI Brightstar is here to help you with all of your HOA management needs.

With over two decades of experience in the property management space, we have the expertise and knowledge to assist you with your HOA community. Reach out to us today to learn more.