ANIMALS & Pets

Common interest communities frequently ask about regulating emotional support animals and pets.

Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability and requires accommodation of assistive animals which may require REASONABLE exceptions to governance that otherwise prohibits animals within a common interest community. This includes Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • # of PETS: Specify limitations on the number of pets per unit in the declaration

      • WHY? - Avoid volunteer Board discretion that could suddenly increase or decrease the pet count resulting in significant angst.

      • N.B. Some state statutes, like Nevada's NRS 116.318, require CICs to allow at least one pet (subject to reasonable restrictions).


  • RULES:

    • ensure you have the appropriate authority to establish rules (see example declaration language below)

    • READ CIC Rules: 8 Commandments for Development and Enforcement to learn more about how to write rules that create a tangible benefit to your community and that can stand the test of time

      • EXAMPLE: objective and specific pet restrictions based on reasonable standards

        • N.B. The size and breed of a particular dog are likely immaterial to dog-related nuisances such as barking, where they go to the bathroom, etc.

        • That said, if your community wants to limit the size of dogs allowed, objective criteria might include breed restrictions for dogs considered Large and/or Extra Large by the American Kennel Club.

          • N.B. While some state laws and municipal codes reference breed restrictions (see FL Statute 767.14), CICs may have the ability to impose restrictions that are otherwise unenforceable by a municipality. Learn more on our Free Speech page.

        • Do you have a dedicated, attended pet weigh station at every entrance?! (we know the answer...)

          • Do not establish rules based on the weight of any object that cannot be readily measured on paper or from a distance


Example Declaration Language: Animals & Pets


  • No animals shall be raised, bred or kept in any Unit, except in strict accordance with the Rules and Regulations relating to household pets from time to time adopted or approved by the Board of Directors, and provided that they shall not in the judgment of the Board of Directors constitute a nuisance to others.

  • Animals may not be kept for any commercial purposes.

  • After Notice and an Opportunity to be Heard, the Board may require the removal of any animal that it finds is a nuisance or is disturbing other residents, even though the Board may allow other animals to remain in the Condominium.

  • In addition, the Board may adopt rules and regulations prohibiting Pets over a particular size or weight, or Pets wholly or partially of breeds which the Board deems inappropriate for condominium living.

  • Owners are responsible for any damage to person or property caused by the Pet of any Residential User or Commercial User that they invite into the Condominium and shall indemnify and hold the Association and the Board harmless from any and all liability arising from or caused by the Animal.

  • The Association may establish reasonable fees associated with costs incurred by the Association related to animals within the Condominium.


1. No Residential User or Commercial User may keep more than three small animals, such as dogs or cats in a Unit.

2. Pets will not be allowed on any Common Elements unless they are on a leash, in a crate or other container and accompanied by their owner.

3. The Board may require the removal of any animal which is a nuisance or annoyance to neighbors, after Notice and an Opportunity to be Heard.

4. The Board may adopt other reasonable rules and regulations regarding animals, including establishing a fee schedule related to Pets.

Assistance Animals Flow Chart
CAI Press - Pets in Community Associations
CAI Press- Pet Policies
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