Moving into a new home along with your furry family members? You’d better check your HOA’s rules regarding pets before you get too comfortable. HOAs have the power to restrict how many pets you can have, where they can walk and their leash length, among many other provisions. It might sound like a hassle—after all, you know your Fluffy would never attack anyone—but there are very good reasons why HOAs have rules regarding pets, and the consequences for breaking them can be severe.

Read on to find out why it’s so important that you and your pets follow HOA laws to the letter.

Why HOAs enforce pet restrictions for homeowners in Arizona

Your homeowners association has the power to regulate your pets thanks to the Codes, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that you signed when you moved in. The association membership is mandatory for those living on the community property, and it’s presumed to be for the benefit of everyone in the community.

Pets can often be a safety issue for HOAs and their members. Even dogs (or cats) who have never attacked another animal or human before can get spooked and fly off the handle, causing injury and property damage. Most HOAs have, at the very least, rules about pets being on leashes, how long those leashes can be and where on the property animals are welcome to play or walk. This is to preserve the maximum enjoyment for all residents.

What can happen if you break the rules

You might be tempted to ignore the rules, especially if it doesn’t seem like your HOA is very strict about enforcement. We urge you to think twice before you commit any pet-related violations—the consequences can be serious.

If your HOA finds that you’ve violated their rules, they’ll probably warn you first—but the CC&Rs may not require them to do so. You could also be hit with a costly fine. Some HOAs levy fees of up to $1,000 for first offenses, and you’re legally required to pay them.

While your HOA can’t force you to sell your home, they can continue to levy fines against you for subsequent offenses. If you can’t pay those off in a timely fashion and they keep piling up, the HOA could take a lien out against your home and foreclose on the lien.

In short, potentially losing your home is a severe consequence for letting Fluffy wander off his leash.

Navigate HOA pet restrictions for homeowners in Arizona

Goodman Law Group is a full-service HOA legal firm that does nothing but help HOAs. Our highly specialized firm is focused on the multitude of legal issues that an HOA can face in conducting its daily business. We stay on top of the latest in Arizona HOA law in order to make your life easier. If you’re dealing with legal issues thanks to HOA pet restrictions in Arizona, reach out to us today for a consultation. We look forward to meeting with you soon.