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Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Can homeowners' association boards regulate pets?

Instead of having the traditional pets such as cats, dogs and birds, some people opt to take another route and own a potbellied pig. These small, and undoubtedly cute, creatures often blend right in with their human and four-legged families. California residents belonging to communities with HOAs may want to do some investigating before making their purchase to determine whether the homeowners' association boards in their communities will not makes waves about it.

A family in another state did not think that their choice of pet would cause the homeowners' association to drag their name through the mud. The HOA is calling their potbellied pig a swine, which is considered a farm animal. Obviously, the family does not intend to eat or sell the pig to be eaten. It is their family pet.

In fact, it is considered a purebred miniature potbellied pig, which is not considered swine in Sarasota, Florida. Since these animals are not raised as food (or for use as other products), the city exempts these animals from being considered swine. However, that has not stopped the HOA of the community in which the pig lives from trying to evict him.

The question is whether homeowners' association boards can regulate the pets of the people living in the community. If a California resident decides to have a purebred miniature potbellied pig as a pet, should the HOA board be allowed to send it packing? A careful review of the CC&R's of the community, along with any other documentation regarding the rules of the HOA, could reveal the answer. For those who own what are considered legal pets according to the city, but the HOA disagrees, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney regarding their rights.

Source: mysuncoast.com, "The "Mini Pig of Venice" is facing eviction", Dec. 11, 2017

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