Homeowners’ Association Rules and Regulations
HOA Pet Restrictions
Recently, we were house hunting in a state saturated with homeowner associations (HOA). It seemed every neighborhood had some type of strict HOA rule. This was our first HOA experience, and we were a bit nervous because we share our home with a Rottweiler and Bull Terrier.
As many pet owners are aware, these dog breeds are usually restricted by insurance companies, HOAs, hotels and so forth. When searching for a home, we were very leery and cautious of HOA pet restrictions. Thankfully, we finally found a great home with no dog breed restrictions listed in their HOA laws. However, not all homeowners’ association rules and regulations are alike. Before locking in your new home, follow these tips to ensure your dog is allowed.
A Savvy Realtor is Your Best Friend
By far, this was our ace in the hole! We found an amazing realtor who showed Rottweilers, so she was fully aware of breed-specific regulations. When narrowing down our home search, and before we even stepped into a home, our realtor contacted each home’s homeowners’ association.
Most realtors are well versed in homeowners’ association laws, so they can quickly detect an issue for you. Ask your realtor to contact each HOA to verify breed restriction laws beforehand. Trust me, it’s not worth falling in love with a home when your dog isn’t allowed. When searching for a dog savvy realtor, ask the local kennel club or dog trainers for recommendations.
Many HOAs Restrict By Weight
Several states have finally realized that breed-specific legislation doesn’t decrease dog bites, so they removed breed-specific laws. Arizona recently overturned breed restrictions, but HOAs still found a way to discriminate dog breeds.
Some HOAs enforce pet weight limits (usually under 20 pounds), which keeps large dogs out of the neighborhood. Even though specific dog breeds aren’t listed in the homeowners’ association rules and regulations, read the pet policy carefully for pet weight restrictions.
Once you’ve selected a home, ask your realtor for a copy of the HOA bylaws. Read through each paragraph carefully, focusing on pet restrictions. Many HOAs limit the number of dogs per home and, of course, mandate leash laws (which is a good thing).
When in doubt, contact an HOA representative before making an offer on the home. Note the name of the HOA rep plus the date and time of your conversation.
Read and read again before making an offer on your home. 🙂