Your pets are a huge part of your life, and you can’t imagine life without them. When making your next move, it is essential to make sure that the home you are moving into is an acceptable place for your pet.
Many condos or Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have restrictions and policies for pets that you must accept before moving in. Read on to learn about standard residential pet policies and other aspects of homeownership that can affect you and your furry friends’ lives.
Identify the pet policy before purchasing a home
Before submitting an offer on a specific condo or a home belonging to an HOA, discussing any potential pet policies with your real estate agent is crucial. Condos and HOAs often have specific rules in place for pet owners, ranging from outright banishment to breed and weight limits. If a condo or HOA has a pet policy, any restrictions or limitations must be outlined in writing.
Though policies altogether banning pets aren’t as commonplace as they used to be, checking the specific policy before signing any paperwork can save you the burden of backing out of the sale or incurring fines regarding your pet after you move in.
Common pet policies
The most common restriction for pet ownership involves dog breeds. For example, some HOAs and condo boards forbid the ownership of American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds, as they are unfairly but commonly believed to be “aggressive” or difficult breeds. Some associations may allow you to have cats and dogs but ban other animals like birds. Though it is easy to argue that not all animals of a particular breed or species exhibit the stereotypical behaviors attributed to them, it can prove challenging to convince an association to accept your pet if they fall into a certain category.
Weight limits are typical in close-knit environments like condos. Some associations impose this limit due to smaller square footage and to ensure the comfort and peace of other residents. It’s often believed that larger dogs can be more challenging to control, and they may be louder or more destructive. Associations often tell residents they cannot own a dog of more than 30 to 50 pounds because they believe smaller dogs pose less of a threat should the animal not be adequately trained.
Restrictions on the number of pets allowed
Many associations will also restrict the number of pets you can have in your home, just as they would restrict how many residents are allowed per unit. Again, this policy is usually implemented with the safety and comfort of other residents in mind. These limitations are aimed at keeping noise levels down and having enough space for all inhabitants.
How to make pet ownership condo-friendly
Though these policies can be worrisome for pet owners, there are ways to ensure your association is satisfied with your pet ownership and that your beloved animal lives comfortably.
House train your pets
Especially for animals living in multi-unit condos, it is absolutely essential to prepare your pet to spend long hours inside the home. Cats are easier to house train, as they adapt well to staying indoors 24/7. They also use a litter box and do not need to be taken outside.
However, dogs need exercise, especially larger breeds, and they require regular outdoor bathroom visits. You can potty train your pups with a strict routine, which includes taking them outside in the mornings, after meals, and right before bed.
Keep things clean
Pet scents travel and linger. Keep your home fresh by changing your cat litter once or twice per day and fully emptying the box to add new litter at least every two weeks. For dogs, toss any bathroom pads immediately after use, and regularly check your home to ensure there is no accidental waste around. Furry pets tend to produce dander as well. Regularly vacuum your space and clean your vents to prevent pet hair from saturating your home. For other species, like lizards and birds, it’s vital to clean their cages daily for health purposes.
Have a designated pet area
Of course, repairs must sometimes be made while you are not at home. For example, if a maintenance team needs to enter your condo to fix the air conditioner, your pets must be in a secure place to allow them to do their job without interruption. Dogs and cats should either be in a quiet bedroom or in a spacious crate until all repairs are complete.
For single-family homes, many owners choose to install doggy doors so that their pets can enter a fenced yard as they please. While this can be time-saving and stress-relieving, you must make sure all doors and windows are locked when you are not around. Dogs that are not on a leash should be in a secure, fenced-in area with some type of supervision.
Encourage daytime activity
There is nothing worse than being kept awake by an incessantly barking dog or the pitter-patter of multiple cats with late-night zoomies. If this sounds like your pet, consider tiring them out during the day with adequate exercise. Give your cats a few toys they can chase, or designate a time to play with them before bed so that they are fully tuckered out. If you have dogs, it’s important to take them for multiple walks throughout the day. Many dogs enjoy dog parks or doggy daycare, where they can run and get exercise with other pups before sundown and snooze away at night.
Your pet-friendly oasis awaits
We know your dream home should be a place where both you and your pet can thrive. If you and your furry friend are looking for your happily-ever-after in Greenwich, CT real estate or Stamford, CT real estate, call the Tri-Star Team at Compass
to get started.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash