It’s no secret that owning chickens remains a hot topic within HOAs across the country, but many people have a lot of fear around the idea. Whether it be noise, smell, property value, or other concerns, homeowners and board members alike want to know, is having chickens in your community worth it?
A common theme brought up when considering chickens is whether the property value would lower with the additional presence of poultry in your community. The general consensus among realtors, and even some council members, is that that property value will not be lowered, so long as the outbuilding (dwelling for chickens) remains clean and up to date on any necessary repairs.
Additionally, factors such as noise, smell, and safety should be taken into consideration to protect property value when defining HOA rules and regulations surrounding poultry.
It is completely understandable if your initial response is to associate bad smells and noises with chickens if you have not had much experience around them. However, the myth that chickens stink is not based on any fact. While it is true that the feces of chickens have the chance to stink if not properly cleaned, this is also true of any other animal (whether pet or livestock) that leaves waste in the yard. Chickens themselves do not stink and as long as a homeowner maintains their yard like they would for another pet, then smell should not become an issue.
Noise is also a concern for many board members and their homeowners. Associations that already allow chickens usually implement a strict “no rooster” rule to prevent loud noise. The main reason for keeping chickens for many homeowners is for the eggs they provide. Roosters are not necessary for a hen to lay eggs and not having them will keep the noise levels down significantly. This will allow everyone to sleep in and enjoy their community without interruption.
Comfort and safety matter just as much for the chickens as they do for any other pet and livestock. If your community is considering whether or not to allow chickens to live within the HOA, do your research. Find out what rules and regulations other associations have put into place for their homeowners and consider the needs of your own community.
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An HOA also should consider nuisance restrictions, which are defined as anything that “interfere[s] with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property…” These restrictions protect homeowners from an abundance of issues, and its definition should be followed when considering what rules to put in place if your community allows poultry.
With everyone talking about the rising cost of eggs, people are searching for alternatives. The choice of incorporating chickens into your HOA is a board and community decision. We suggest doing thorough research on your state and local laws and research on what nearby associations are doing in regard to chickens in their communities.