HOA Forces Teen with Special Needs to Give Up His Therapy Ducks

Homeowner association management companies

When it comes to life in an HOA development, having a good HOA management agreement in place can often mean the difference between harmony and controversy. An important tool for homeowners, HOA board members, and even HOA property management services, these HOA management agreements regulate everything from landscaping to pets. As a result, making sure the agreement is fair, comprehensive, available to residents, and properly enforced should be an important consideration for all homeowners associations. This is especially true in light of a recent incident in Arizona, where a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome was forced to give up his therapy animals due to a previously-unknown rule regarding pets in the neighborhood.

A HOA community board in Tucson, Arizona recently requested that Gigi Burton’s family to give up their two ducks. However, the birds were more than just pets: Burton’s 16-year old son has Asperger’s, a condition on the Autism spectrum, and the ducks had been adopted to promote his cognitive, emotional and social well-being. The North Ranch Community, where the family lives, has pointed out that the ducks violate the neighborhood’s HOA management agreement. Unfortunately, the Burtons say they never received a copy of the agreement from the landlord who rented them the property.

Due to the regulation, the Burtons say they plan to take the ducks to live on the east side of Tucson to avoid causing their son anxiety. However, the conflict probably could have been avoided had there had been better communication and access to the HOA management agreement, as well as systems in place to promote adherence to the regulations. For example, many communities choose to hire residential property management companies to organize landscaping and maintenance services throughout the neighborhood, helping HOA boards and homeowners comply with community standards. Is your neighborhood HOA management agreement clear and properly instituted to best serve your community?

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