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Pet policies and HOA restrictions

Homeowners' associations can provide great peace of mind for homeowners. However, there are also drawbacks to HOAs that can cause serious problems.

For instance, if you are accused of breaking the rules of the association, you could face serious penalties and a contentious battle with the HOA. This can be quite upsetting, especially if the argument from the HOA doesn't make sense or seems to be an abuse of power. One family in Florida is facing this very issue and they, like others in similar situations, are fighting back against the HOA

A pet or something else?

According to reports, the family researched HOA rules and local ordinances before determining they were within their rights to welcome a purebred mini potbellied pig into their home as a pet. 

While the HOA contacted them with concerns about the pig initially, the matter appeared to be dropped after the homeowner explained that the pig was a regular pet, not a farm animal.

However, one year later, the issue came up again when the HOA evidently claimed that the pig is a service animal and requires specific documentation. The homeowners are now challenging this assertion. They are fighting to prove that he is, in fact, a pet they are within their rights to have in their home. 

Dealing with pet policies in your HOA

Most HOAs will have pet policies in place. They may restrict types or breeds of animals; they might specify rules for bringing your pet outside; they can prohibit numbers of pets and animals of a certain size. These policies are generally appropriate and enforceable. Though, there are times when an HOA goes too far in attempting to restrict or penalize homeowners.

In situations where the policies are confusing, unfair or overreaching, there may be reason to challenge the HOA. You can discuss your legal options with an attorney if you find yourself at odds with an HOA in Florida.

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