Homeownership and Pet Restrictions

Couple holding dog

Barriers to pets in housing are not unique to renters. There are a number of restrictions that may limit a homeowner’s ability to maintain a pet. For example, local breed-specific legislation may prohibit specified dog breeds within a jurisdiction. When relocating to one of these areas, new residents may be forced to give up a beloved pet to comply with these unreasonable and ill-conceived laws.

Even in areas with no breed-specific restrictions, the cost and availability of property insurance coverage is often an unnecessary barrier to homeownership for responsible dog owners. The majority of property insurance companies utilize dog-breed lists to determine whether—and at what cost—homeowners may obtain coverage. A number of states have already outlawed this practice, which should be eliminated altogether.

Additionally, millions of households living in common interest developments (such as condominiums, townhouses and master-planned communities) may find that the community’s bylaws or covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) have limitations on the type of pet residents may have, or even prohibit pets altogether. Given that 70% of the nation’s population has pets, and common interest developments are becoming more prevalent, these restrictions have hugely detrimental impacts on the ability for homeowners to keep their family whole.

The ASPCA is working hard to eliminate unnecessary pet restrictions for homeowners at the state level and across the country. One example of our success is in Nevada, where planned communities are now required to allow pets and breed discrimination is prohibited. 

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