Establishing Dog Rules in Your HOA

Pets are as much a part of the family as their humans. Pet-friendly HOAs in Aurora, Colorado, can come up against unique challenges caused by dogs, such as off-leash trouble, pet waste, and excessive noise. However, establishing clear regulations for pets within your homeowner’s association will help conquer your pet challenges. Teaming up with an effective HOA community management firm like The Management Trust to establish clear rules will help you enforce all of your neighborhood regulations.

Have Homeowners Register All Pets

To fairly and effectively enforce the rules against all pet owners, you’ll first need to know about all pets in the community. Rule number one should require all homeowners to register their pets with the association so they can be kept track of and homeowners can be held accountable. Create a pet registration form that must be filled out by all new and current homeowners. This will not only allow the HOA to monitor all pets in the community but also keep track of overdue vaccinations. 

Establish Barking Rules

One of the biggest issues that dogs can cause within an HOA is noise complaints. It’s normal for dogs to bark and make noise, but this shouldn’t occur excessively — especially during late or early hours when residents are sleeping. Encourage homeowners to report any persistent barking problems to the board. Simply having a conversation with the pet owner and encouraging them to bring dogs in at night could be the solution; if not, stricter consequences could be enforced after multiple instances if they’re clearly outlined within the rules of your HOA.

Establish Leash Rules

It’s recommended that all pet-friendly HOAs establish clear leash laws within their community. Unleashed dogs could bother other residents or instigate conflicts with other dogs or cats in the neighborhood. It can also be dangerous for the pet itself if they run out into the street. Require that all dogs be kept on a leash when walking around the neighborhood. If you want to go the extra mile to accommodate pet owners, create a dog park or designated, enclosed off-leash area for pets to run freely. This amenity will help attract new homeowners and keep current homeowners satisfied without creating undue risk.

Require Waste Cleanup

Animal waste is one of the most common problems in pet-friendly community associations. Although picking up your pet’s waste is typically common courtesy, many people still refuse to do so. Create a rule requiring all pet owners to pick up any waste deposits by their pets in the neighborhood’s common areas. Provide bags and trash cans throughout the neighborhood to encourage responsible pet ownership and waste management, and consider levying fines on homeowners who refuse to comply with the cleanup rules.

Create a Liability Policy

Despite your best efforts and clearly outlined rules, there can still be unfortunate events resulting from pet ownership within the HOA. To avoid liability, create a waiver to be signed by homeowners, which releases the HOA from legal liability in the case of injury, damage, or disturbance caused by pets. Transferring full liability onto the homeowner will protect your HOA and make the pet owners act more responsibly in their self-interest.

Being a pet-friendly HOA has its challenges, but it’s well worth it to make your residents’ lives happier and more fulfilled. By implementing clear pet rules and enforcing them fairly, you can have a happy and successful Aurora, Colorado, homeowner’s association. For assistance enforcing rules and collecting fines, consider a community management company like The Management Trust. We can help you navigate your legal options when creating new rules and enforce them fairly and promptly, saving your HOA board more time to focus on the bigger picture. If you’d like to find out more about The Management Trust’s full range of community association management services, give us a call at (303) 750-0994 or fill out our online contact form today.