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).
# 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 (NV NRS 116.318, CA Civ. Code § 4715, etc.) require CICs to allow at least one pet (subject to reasonable restrictions).
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
View our Rules page and read Is It a Good Rule?
WHY? - This evidences attention to your duty of care.
Example Declaration Language: Animals & Pets
Animals may not be kept for any commercial purposes.
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.
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.
Example Rules & Regulations Language: Animals & Pets
LIMITS ON THE NUMBER OF PETS SHOULD BE LISTED IN YOUR DECLARATION / CC&Rs.
Only household pets and assistance animals are allowed. Assistance animals are defined by HUD. Requests for reasonable accommodation related to assistance animals shall be made in accordance with Notice to the Association.
Breeding of animals is not allowed.
Pets will not be allowed on any shared Common Elements unless they are on a leash, in a crate or other container and accompanied by their owner. Unrestrained animals found within or upon any shared Common Element are subject to be reported to Animal Control.
Unit 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 Pet.
All pets must be registered with the Association within thirty (30) days of occupancy. Registration includes a non-refundable fee for each dog according to the Association’s Fee Schedule.
Guests and other non-resident pet owners are not allowed to bring their pets within the Association’s controlled access environment, except under the supervision of Unit Owners or Tenants, but not in any case where an additional Pet would violate the maximum number of Pets in a Unit.
Residential Users shall take care to ensure their pets do not unreasonably disturb others. Disturbances include, but are not limited to the creation of sound that travels through walls, ceilings and floors, biting, jumping on one’s person, etc.
Pets are not allowed to defecate or urinate within or upon any Common Element (including the Limited Common Elements).
Residential Users are required to immediately clean up any urine and/or excrement from their Pets and are further subject to the requirements of Municipal Code <XYZ>.
Pets are not permitted within or upon the Association’s common greenscaping and hardscaping.
Pandemic Pet Adoptions and a $500 Billion Global Market
Nacha Cattan & Brendan Case | Bloomberg | 03/23/23
ESA + ANIMAL & PET RESOURCES
Animal Accommodation Laws - Paws Opening Doors
Service & Companion Animals Thread - Community Associations Network
Who's Right and What's Fair - April '19
Furry Friends: How to Handle Service Animal Requests - Dec '21