For emotional support alone, at least 32% of people across the U.S. have their pets certified as such. With a large majority of the population having service and support animals and so many places having a variety of different restrictions surrounding these animals, people want to know where they can bring them without having any issues.
One of the primary areas for concern is having service animals with an HOA. This has a lot to do with the stringent rules and regulations that an HOA presents. Luckily, in Arizona, there are some things that will play into your favor when it comes to different pet rules.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about having a support animal and being an HOA homeowner.
Are Having Support Animals While Being a Homeowner in an HOA Possible?
As an Arizona resident, you're in luck if you are planning to buy or rent within an HOA community. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) actually provides certain protections for people who have emotional support animals. Basically, this means that as long as they are properly certified as service animals, you as a handler, under the FHA have equal rights to any accommodations you need without prejudice. This expands into an HOA.
While HOA rules are quite extensive, you should keep in mind that a community association isn't higher than federal law. Due to this, an HOA cannot discriminate against homeowners who need to have a service animal in any case.
In short, yes, it is possible to have an emotional support animal when moving into an HOA. However, you will still have to follow any outlined pet rules set by the association in terms of picking up after your pet, etc.
Does the FHA Only Apply to 'Service' Animals?
No, the Fair Housing Act does not only apply to service animals. As mentioned, support animals also have to be accommodated by law. While pets that are used for 'support' aren't necessarily trained to assist with certain tasks, they still provide a certain level of support to the handler.
Potential home buyers often want to know what to expect when an association has a 'no pet policy'. Simply put, HOAs are not allowed to use this policy to turn you away.
Also, the situation will likely remain the same if you buy within an HOA and don't have a service animal at the time of purchase but later need a service animal after you're already a homeowner.
Are There Exceptions to This Exception?
Yes, there are some exceptions, and one of them within HOA rules, or any type of community is the safety concern. If a support or service animal poses a threat or health risk, this is one valid reason for an HOA to turn you away.
You should also know that support and service animals don't have the same rights. However, within an HOA, both are accepted unless they pose some type of danger.
Navigating Your HOA
You can buy a home within an HOA and still have support animals. The companions provide a sense of safety and support for their handler, and HOAs have to accommodate that. To learn more about what to expect with properties in an HOA, learn more about the services Phoenix Association Management offers.