Posted by IKO Community Management on October 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Are you ready to learn how to be a good neighbor if you have pets? Check out IKO Community Management's top pet policy problems in HOA communities and how to solve them quickly:
Problem 1: You find dog waste in common areas on your morning run or post-dinner walk with your family. This is a problem because dog waste can cause the spread of disease and unwanted animal attention.
It can also negatively affect selling and renting properties in your community, as well as elicit a conflict with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a violation of the Clean Water Act. This can lead to fines that affect the HOA and individual residents for failure to keep the property clean -- whether they have a dog or not.
Solution 1: Educate residents about pet policy in your HOA community and the location of waste disposal stations around your neighborhood. After initial education, send reminders in the form of a map with disposal stations and dog parks.
You can also remind residents of any HOA fines or other consequences for failure to properly dispose of dog waste or hire a clean-up crew. If your continual efforts aren't working, employ DNA testing, so samples of uncollected dog waste can be tested and proper measures can be taken.
Problem 2: You hear a dog barking during "off" hours, or it causes damage to your backyard trampoline, pool, or curbside recycling bins or trash cans. Both of these circumstances, along with the following are filed under nuisances, according to the Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO) in San Jose, California:
- Consistently or constantly making excessive noise, such as barking, yelping, or whining for more than 5 minutes in a 1-hour period
- Causing damage to or destruction of another's property
- Causing unsanitary, dangerous, or offensive conditions, including offensive odor from excessive excrement
- Creating a pest, parasite, or scavenger control problem, which isn't effectively treated
- Chasing, running after, or jumping at vehicles moving on streets and alleys
- Attacking, biting, or injuring a person, or snapping, growling, snarling, jumping upon or otherwise threatening persons without provocation whether or not the dog is confined by fence, chain, or leash, or under the voice control of a responsible person
- Howling, yelping, whining, or barking in such a manner as to unreasonably disturb any person
- Feeding from, turning over, or otherwise disturbing garbage containers
- Scratching or digging in flowerbeds or otherwise damaging the property of another owner
- Going onto the property of another or onto common areas to attack another animal or fowl
- Crawling upon, sleeping on, scratching, or otherwise soiling the property of another
Solution 2: Require annoyed homeowners to put their nuisance complaints in writing, and then send a letter to the pet owner as a warning. If the problem persists, the HOA board should set up a meeting with the pet owner to discuss solutions and/or consequences like HOA fines or removal from property.
Problem 3: You notice that your next-door neighbor has more than three dogs in their condominium, or someone's hiding a Great Dane in a townhome. Many residents try to skirt by pet policies regarding size, number of animals, type of animal, and other specific rules.
Solution 3: Educate your residents about which animals and how many are allotted per single-family home, townhome, or condominium. Send an explanation of why these pet policies are in place, whether it's to protect other residents, keep common areas clean, or adhere to fire code.
To be more thorough, require pet registration with photo, emergency contact information, and verification of vaccinations upon move-in. Allow annoyed residents to send in written complaints, and discuss the issue with the pet owner directly during an HOA meeting.