Essential Guide to Support Animals in HOA Communities in Boise, Idaho

Essential Guide to Support Animals in HOA Communities in Boise, Idaho

The verdict is in: service animals are on the rise in the United States. More than ever, Americans rely on their furry friends, especially dogs, to assist them with their physical and emotional needs.

So, how do support animals come into play when it comes to HOA community management? Read on to find out.

What is a Support Animal?

The definition of support animal varies broadly, depending on the type of animal, the needs of the owner, and the state. This can make it difficult to establish support animal guidelines.

Service Animals

A service animal is a type of support animal. These are the most rigorously trained animals, and they are almost always dogs. They assist their owners with tasks that they cannot do themselves due to disability.

Some service dogs can retrieve items for their owners who are wheelchair-bound or sense a seizure for an epileptic owner.

Emotional Support Animals

Unlike service animals, the requirements for emotional support animals are far more lax. They do not need to go through a training or certification process. Rather, the owners can get a verification of need from a qualified therapist.

Many people with emotional support animals have them due to conditions such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

The tenant must provide documentation, such as a signed ESA letter, to obtain the benefits of an emotional support animal for housing access.

Rights of Support Animal Owners

It can get tricky when it comes to the rights of support animal owners. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, it is illegal to deny accommodation to anyone with a service animal.

You also cannot charge extra pet rent or a pet deposit for owners of support animals. Although Idaho doesn't recognize emotional support animals, it still has to comply with federal regulations from the Fair Housing Act.

Make sure your HOA community management is aware of the service animal or emotional support animal. This way, you can avoid legal trouble down the road.

Responsibilities of HOAs

You can still structure your HOA regulations around support animals without getting into legal hot water. For instance, make sure you have guidelines regarding things like pet waste or barking.

Usually, service dogs have training and they are well-behaved. However, emotional support animals may not have the same level of competence.

You may need help from a property management company to craft policies that meet legal requirements and still benefit the HOA community.

Due to housing laws, you must respect and accommodate people with disabilities who require service animals. One example would be giving a ground-floor apartment to someone who cannot climb stairs.

Support Animals in HOA Communities

If you run an HOA community, you should not have to worry about your obligations to support animals. Use this guide to find the right balance between tenant satisfaction and community needs.

Are you an HOA manager in Boise, ID? PMI Treasure Valley is here to help with all your community association needs.

Our independently owned and operated business provides property management services to the greater Boise area. Reach out to us today to get started.