Do you have a furry best friend? If you’re considering purchasing a condo, townhome or HOA-governed single family home, don’t skip this important step if you are a pet owner or want-to-be pet owner!
Rules, rules, everywhere a rule
Condos, townhomes and some single family homes are part of a homeowners association (HOA) which governors the communal aspects of the building, collection of buildings or neighborhood. Some examples of this communal property include shared walls, roofs, hallways, entrances, communal outdoor space, mailbox area, ect. Because you only own a SHARE of this property when you purchase a condo or townhome you are required to follow the covenants, bylaws, rules and regulations of the HOA of which you are a member. Watch my video about HOA pet restrictions here.
What about Fido?
Some of the more common rules in HOA rules and regulations include language about pets, and often include specifics about the number of pets allowed, weight limit on those pets, breed restrictions, and types of pets.
When you’re considering a condo or townhome purchase it is important to read the HOA documents and make sure you can abide by the rules, especially when it comes to pet restrictions. If those rules about pets seem vague, or seem not well enforced, it is a good idea to include a contingency in your purchase agreement asking for clarification or written permission from the HOA board that grants you permission for your particular pet situation. For instance, if you have two cats, but the HOA rules specify “one pet per household” protect yourself (and your kitties) by getting written permission from the HOA board that two cats will be allowed in your case, and make that written permission a contingency in your purchase agreement that it must be granted by a certain date or you will not purchase the property. While the HOA board may not grant you the news you want, you will have protected yourself and your earnest money in the purchase agreement.
But…inside it’s MY home, right?
Yes…even though you own the INTERIOR of your condo or townhome, you only own a SHARE of the exterior and shared elements. Your pets can potentially impact the use and enjoyment of other residents in their homes and common spaces. Pets can produce noise, smells, damage, and safety issues and it is for those reasons that the HOA can still govern you when it comes to pets they allow, or don’t allow, in the association through pet restrictions.