The summer of 2012 has been quite an interesting one from a HOA management perspective so far. Summer is officially underway, pool season is in full effect and the weather is officially hot. During our regular HOA community inspections that we regularly conduct, we have noticed a few irregular visitors in our communities. We have had multiple encounters with Non-Domestic animals so far this summer. We attribute the strange visitors to a real estate market that has not yet recovered along with a struggling economy, which has caused a gradual downsizing and consolidation which has included a farm animal or two in some cases. Unfortunately despite the circumstances, nearly all HOA’s across the country have very specific rules restricting the keeping of any Non-Domestic animals within the community. We wanted to review why exactly having these unusual “pets” or “companions” within an HOA community is unrealistic and restricted nearly everywhere. What’s that noise? This is what usually causes neighbors and other members of a community to take notice if someone is keeping restricted animals on their property. It’s inevitable that Horses will neigh, roosters will crow, and peacocks (yes I said peacocks) will do their version of screaming. (See for yourself in the short video clip below) This obviously causes disturbances for any nearby neighbors and usually isn’t tolerated very well. In a farm situation with multiple acres, this is obviously no problem, but most planned communities don’t have very much land between residences. Smell ya Later! If the obvious sounds and noises of an unusual animal friend don’t tip off the neighbors, an occasional weird smell certainly might. It’s impossible to keep a large animal like a horse, or group of chickens, without developing some kind of unwanted orders at some point. Most people when they choose to live a newer suburban area of town, they do not want it to smell like grandpa’s old barn. This first time a neighbor or fellow resident gets a whiff of “Mr. Eds” business because the wind has changed, you better believe they will be quickly contacting their HOA manager. That house? I think not! Having some extra farm animal friends around might by great in theory, but can really damage your property and hurt your and surrounding neighbors resell value. We have seen fully green backyards turned into dirt and dust after a horse has been there just a few short days. Non-domestic animals can also shock your yards soil causing all kinds of drainage and future growth issues when it comes to re-landscaping the area because ultimately that’s what will need to happen. Think of the animals too Most people that are caught carrying for Non-domestic animals on their HOA property, naturally act upset and feel like they should have the rights to keep whatever kind of animal they want to on their property. Let’s stop right there for a second. Let’s think about the rights of the animals as well. No horse or family of goats was ever intended to be contained in a small back yard in the middle of the suburbs. They need space to roam around and the right environment to remain healthy and happy. I didn’t know….. The most obvious reason not to have Non-domestic animals within your HOA community is real simple, you are just simply not allowed to have them in almost all cases. We love animals just as much as the next guy, but it’s just not worth it to to keep any exotic or non domestic animals at your in your HOA community. It’s not worth it financially to construct coups or a pig pen only to have to take it down shortly after discovered by your unappreciative neighbor. Not to mention the potential fines and lawsuits that can follow if the animals are not removed immediately after being reported. HOA’s are great places to live and raise a family. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few ranch oriented communities out there, they are not a place to raise any non-domestic animals. Keeping horses, goats, chickens, and peacocks back at the family farm is the best scenario for everyone. Their they can truly live in peace and harmony without anyone having to look over their should to see if the HOA Management company inspector is on their to visit them.