The Benefits of Support Animals in HOA Living

The Benefits of Support Animals in HOA Living

62% of Americans own a pet. 97% say they're part of the family, and 51% say they're as much a part as any human member.

They can even be more than family. Approximately 18% of owners say one or more pets are registered emotional support animals.

This trend isn't only positive for those with mental disabilities. It can also help your community. Read on to learn the potential benefits of emotional support animals in HOA living.

Maintaining Legal Compliance

The primary benefit of allowing emotional support animals is legal compliance.

The Fair Housing Act considers disability a protected category. You can't refuse housing to anyone because of it.

Failing to make reasonable accommodations for disabled HOA homeowners who need emotional support animals can leave you with major fines or even lawsuits. Letting them in protects you from this liability.

Promoting Physical and Mental Health

As their name suggests, emotional support animals provide emotional support. They improve the mental health of those with conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD

They can also improve physical well-being. Walking a dog encourages exercise. Studies have also shown that being around animals has positive effects on the body such as lowering blood pressure.

Enhancing Community Atmosphere

What's better than seeing a cute dog walk by or a cat on the windowsill? Even if you don't allow pets, you can create a better HOA community atmosphere by allowing emotional support animals.

They're a conversation starter. Current members will be encouraged to become friends with their owners. It creates a more holistic and friendly environment that more new members will want to join.

Compassionate HOA Management

Allowing emotional support animals is a wise part of any HOA management strategy. It gives you a reputation as a compassionate leader who's flexible enough to accommodate those who are different.

That's an attractive feature for potential new homeowners. Disabled homeowners may be attracted to your community over others. Even those who aren't will be glad to have an accommodating manager.

Maintaining HOA Rules

Compassionate management doesn't mean you have to throw the rulebook out. Enforcing the rules is one of the most important responsibilities of an HOA manager.

Emotional support animals are exempt from certain HOA rules such as pet fees or rent. Their owners still have to follow other animal regulations. This includes rules about behavior and proper waste disposal. They have to keep the animals clean and minimize disruptions.

Ensuring they follow these regulations allows for peaceful HOA living. It also preserves the value of your community.

Benefits of Hiring an HOA Management Company

Having emotional support animals in an HOA is not the problem it may first seem to be. It has many benefits for you and the community.

Allowing emotional support animals keeps you legally compliant. It allows you to practice compassionate management while maintaining HOA rules. You'll have happier, healthier residents and a better community atmosphere.

PMI Bayou City is a full-service association management company. We use the latest insights and tools to help communities build and maintain value and satisfaction. Contact us to begin today.