For many people, their furry, feathered, or scaly friends are an integral part of their emotional health and well-being. There’s nothing quite like a dog greeting you with boundless excitement as you walk in the door from a long day’s work, or a normally standoffish cat hopping up for a cuddle when you’re sad. Pets are important, but so is community comfort. When it comes to HOA management, regulations about pets can be a difficult and touchy area of the bylaws to work with. For example, how does the board enforce a rule that forbids excessive barking in a resident’s dog, while also being fair to the owners, who may be trying to get training for it to improve the situation?

Though it can seem impossible at first glance, all your HOA residents, pet-owning and not, can live in harmony. Gassen, an Eden Prairie provider of property management services, is here to help with that. Below, we’ll discuss how a board can navigate this tenuous subject with the best interests of all residents in mind.

It’s All About the Balance

As stated above, a good board will consider the comfort of both residents who own pets and those who do not. In addition, fairness means that bylaws surrounding animal ownership in your HOA must be clear and specific. If you have regulations that affect animal ownership, all residents must be able to easily interpret these laws on their own. It’s their right as members of the community, and it also will make settling disputes much easier down the road. Just remember to look into any state-specific laws that control what you, as an HOA, can and can’t do when it comes to pets, especially when service animals are involved.

On the subject of bylaws surrounding pets, though, here are a few specific ones your HOA might consider implementing.

●        Some form of clean-up policy | All community residents, pet-owning or not, have a right to a clean community. If your HOA allows pets, some form of a clean-up policy is a must. Consider expanding this policy to include all pets, not just dogs, so that you’re covered if any strange disputes come up.

●        Regulations about outdoor cats | Nobody wants to drive into your neighborhood worried they’ll hit someone’s beloved pet. Plus, cats, when left on their own outside, can wreak havoc on landscaping and yards. A bylaw that governs unattended outdoor cats is a smart idea for your HOA neighborhood.

●        A leash policy | Off-leash dogs pose a safety hazard, both to themselves and to other residents. Consider implementing a leash policy for all dogs in your community.

In Need of Property Management Services? Gassen Can Help

We provide everything from online property management to accounting property management, and we’d be happy to bring excellence to your community. Give us a call now at 952-922-5575.