The Laws Surrounding Support Animals: A Guide for Delaware HOAs

The Laws Surrounding Support Animals: A Guide for Delaware HOAs

Owning pets is therapeutic, and support animals provide a great deal of benefits to those who need them. According to recent data, 74 percent of pet owners said their mental health improved after getting a pet.

If you live in a Delaware HOA community, it's important to know about the rules regarding support animals.

Read on to learn more about the most current HOA rules regarding these animals so you can be sure if HOA living is right for you.

Laws Regarding Support Animals

in Delaware, the law states that emotional support animals are allowed under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Housing facilities cannot deny housing to someone or their service or support animal due to their disability or need.

Landlords must make "reasonable accommodations" to people if they are determined by a licensed medical health professional to need the animal. However, in most cases, the owner must provide supporting documentation to prove that there is such a need. It's vital that HOA management is aware of and up to date on all of the latest laws regarding the issue in Delaware.

Defining Reasonable Accommodations

HOA rules will vary depending on the community. In some cases, they may allow pets regardless of whether or not they're for emotional or physical support.

If the HOA community has a "no pet policy," the HOA must waive it or waive any accompanying pet fees if a person has a support animal. On the other hand, HOA management and/or landlords can deny living arrangements if the animal displays any form of disruptive, aggressive, or destructive behavior.

Animals that require any major alterations to a home or structure are also a special case that could create an issue for tenants and homeowners. For example, if the animal is too large, the landlord can deny the ESA letter or the request for reasonable accommodations if allowing the animal would require major changes to be made to the property.

Tips for Tenants

If you own a support animal and are planning to live in an HOA community in Delaware, communication is vital. Make sure you tell HOA management well in advance and provide them with supporting documentation.

This simple step allows management to make any arrangements in advance if they're needed. If a landlord or HOA manager denies your request to allow your support animals to live with you, you may contact the Housing and Urban Development Department to find out what, if anything, you can do. If all pets are allowed, tenants should be aware of the HOA rules regarding things like cleanup, leash policies, and noise rules.

Keep Tenants Happy with Clear HOA Rules

Support animals play a vital role in many people's lives, and setting clear HOA rules ahead of time will make the transition easier for you and your tenants. Make sure you're aware of the most recent laws in Delaware regarding these animals, too.

At PMI First State, our team is here to help you with all of your HOA management goals, so contact us today!