Every multi-unit building has a pet policy, whether it’s as inclusive as “all pets welcome” or as limiting as “no pets allowed”. Pet policies exist both for your protection as the pet-owner and for the protection of your fellow residents.
Pet policies may specify the size, number, and type of animal, as well as a leash policy while in the building, and noise restrictions. The size and type of pet restrictions exist largely due to the potential wear and tear in the common areas, or even within your unit. Pet hair, odors, and stains not only decrease overall building value, they may also be cause for concern for other residents who suffer from animal allergies. Owners should follow common area rules in order to minimize any discomfort to neighbors.
If you live in a building with many families, your association may limit the size of dogs. Large dogs can be intimidating to small children. On the flip side of that, a small child may not interact with someone’s pet appropriately and your animal may get hurt.
Following pet policies not only makes it easier on you and your pet, but helps other pet owners in the building as well. If you fail to comply, fines may be levied, or a request for removal of the animal may be issued. Additionally, if a board sees that pet owners are not acting responsibly, new by-laws may be enacted that affect current and new residents.
For the most part, pet policies are common courtesy, similar to policies about waste removal and noise. However, should you feel that the pet policy is unreasonable, you can always address the issue with your HOA board of directors to come to an agreed-upon resolution.