Pets in a Community: What Are HOA Restrictions on Pets in Chicago?

Pets in a Community: What Are HOA Restrictions on Pets in Chicago?

Did you know that more than 80 million Americans own a dog or cat? Many millions more own birds, horses, and other exotic animals.

While many households treat pets like family members, others do not share the same enthusiasm. Certain breeds, like pit bulls, have a negative stereotype. Some pets are known to create property damage or defecate on a neighbor's lawn.

For these reasons, homeowners' associations (HOAs) reserve the right to establish a pet policy. Read on for a comprehensive guide to pets in a community. Explore how HOAs create and enforce pet restrictions in the Chicago area.

What Are the Downsides to Pets in an HOA Community?

Most people know the positives of pet ownership. Companion pets add a new and exciting element to families. Support animals live to serve and help their owners who need physical and mental assistance.

For an HOA community that is built on standardization, downsides to pet ownership do exist. For instance, dogs can be loud and bark at inconvenient times.

Large outdoor cages can throw off the community's picture-perfect appeal. Dogs use the bathroom outside and can kill the grass.

Some people have pet allergies. Other homeowners do not like outdoor cats that are free to roam around the community. Pets do need regulation in a community where not every person feels the same way about them.

Can HOA Boards Regulate Pets?

HOA boards do have some authority to regulate pets. They can enact reasonable pet policies for the HOA community-at-large. HOAs cannot prohibit service animals in Illinois.

HOAs retain the ability to restrict the type of animals that homeowners bring into the community. For example, the HOA's policy may specifically prohibit pets like monkeys, snakes, or chickens.

It is also common for HOAs to restrict the size of animals. They may prohibit animals that weigh over 50lbs. The goal is to limit larger animals most likely to cause property damage or require outdoor living arrangements.

Noise is one of the foremost concerns for an HOA community. Pet noise ordinances may be included in the HOA's pet policy. It may prohibit barking or other loud noises before dawn or after dusk.

Some HOAs restrict the number of pets that a household can own. One or two pets are reasonable, while any more is unnecessary and unreasonable.

Typically, there are other lower-level regulations. Dogs need to be on a leash when walking in the community. Waste pickup and removal is also a common requirement.

HOA boards also require registering your pet with community management. This way, community decision-makers know which households have HOA pets.

Your Guide to Pets in a Community

You now have an understanding of pet ownership in an HOA. It is possible to own a pet in an HOA community, but regulations may be in place.

Some simple regulations include leashing and waste removal. Stricter policies regulate pet weight, quantity, and noise.

Schaumburg Association Property Management has experience writing HOA pet policies. If you want to learn more about pets in a community, contact us today at Schaumburg Association to speak with a professional.