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Can condo association or HOA ban dogs?

Posted on Sun, Sep 02, 2012 @ 07:22 AM
  
  
  
  
Can a pet-friendly condo building pass a rule that does not allow renters to have pets? Our building is nearly up to 33% renters and almost all of the renters have dogs. Many owners have dogs as well, but with the higher renting rate, there has been a significant increase in dog messes in the common areas (elevator and hallways). I can't believe it is the owners not cleaning up after themselves, but rather it's the renters.

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You live in a pet friendly complex. As it stands now it is up to the owner of the rental unit as to whether or not his tenant can have a dog. 
 
If I were a Trustee or board member I would re-do the Rules and Regulations to stipulate "Rental units may not have dogs". At 33% rentals your condo better start thinking about tightening up the complex in general. We have a specific list of Rules for Renting which the Trustees filed with the Registrar of Deeds. We tell those that are renting their units that we strongly discourage pets for renters. Start fining the owner whose tenant is leaving the droppings of their animal around the grounds (and elevator??? ugh!!). Fines usually get compliance to rules like this.

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 7:41 AM by Another Voice


Another Voice is absolutely correct. If an individual owner of a condo wants to rent their unit, it is a privilege not a right. Choosing to do so, they are fully responsible for the behavior and compliance to bylaws and Rules and Regulations of their tenants just as if Owner him/herself were living in the unit. All Owners, whether living in the building or renting their unit to a non-owner have a common goal of safeguarding the integrity of the building and value of their investment. An Owner who rents and lets the tenants and their dogs go wild jeopardizes the entire building's security, safety and property value. 
That said, individual Owners, even in a dog-friendly building, have the right to say NO DOGS when seeking a tenant, because the unit is their personal property which they are interested in preserving. 

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:07 AM by Alice


Agree with Another Voice and Alice. Our rules say only owners can have dogs. If you do not want to have an "Owners Only" pet rule, then fine owners if renters do not pick up after their animals. Big problem with "Pick up the Droppings" rule is that when one finds droppings one usually has no idea who's animal is the violator without a witness (and most witnesses are reluctant to squeal on their neighbors). Better to have the "Owners Only" rule.

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:37 AM by R


I own two units in my WA State condo. One of them is a rental property. When I first rented it, I created a set of rules for renters that contains all of the rules in our Association's governing documents that a renter must comply with. I include a provision in the renters rules that states that the renter is responsible for all fines, or damage to property, that are billed back to the unit owner due to the conduct of the renter, his family, or guests. I also state that repeated violation of the renter rules is grounds for termination of lease. Agreeing to comply with the renter's rules is required as part of the rental agreement that they sign upon renting the unit. I think that this is preferable to banning dogs because I love animals and what the bring to the lives of the humans that they live with. Good luck. 

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:39 AM by Lynn


Post Script -- I would suggest that your Board create a similar set of rules as I did and require that all owners include signing those rules as part of the rental agreement. This can also be beneficial should you have owners who are out of town or out of the country (as in Iraq). We had one situation where the owner was out of the country and the renter made so much noise that his neighbors could not sleep and engaged in other nuisances that made life a living hell for neighbors,but there was nothing that the Association could do because they could not contact the owner, who was off at war. The renter literally ran wild!

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:51 AM by Lynn


So far I have seen no wrong answers. However, the governing documents will not eliminate scoffers and potential litigation. Enforcement can be impossible. Just be sure that somewhere in your governing documents it states your expectations; no dogs over 75 lbs, no more than two pets, only dogs and/or cats, leash rule, noise nuisance, anything else you can think of, and then, most importantly, clean up after. Check your local city or town ordinances as well. 
 
With all that in place, attach a copy of documented and approved pet rules on every door knob and mail a copy to every owner not in residence. Also include appropriate fines for violations. Finally, include that any feces found on common areas will be tested for DNA to identify perpetrator, include a web site such as http://www.pooprints.com for reference. All costs will be added to fines. 
 
Yes, it is true. You can have the feces sent off for testing. Realize that you have to have a match so testing to establish a base is important but usually not necessary. However, if someone wants to test the system, from the size of the feces you can usually narrow the list of suspects down. Then you can ask for pet owners to volunteer their pet feces (witnessed) or wait for the court order. 
 
In our condominium complex we have posted clean up after your pet signs with bags and a refuse container that our landscape people empty. Even with that we still had a couple of scoffers. All it took was one newsletter where we posted our ability to do DNA testing and we now have 100% compliance. 

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 9:06 AM by Ron


Ours is a thirty unit condo in MA. Our rule is simple --NO DOGS. As a trustee we are aware that someone might buy a unit and have a service dog and we will certainly not fight that ADA necessity. On the other hand we have very stringent fines for dog-do and even for a visiting dog. Cats, turtles, birds, iguanas etc. are OK

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 9:58 AM by Frank- MA


You can do it 2 ways. 66% of owners or the Board can do that! If there are more renters than owners the board can step in.. The the change has to be mailed or hand delivered to all............

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 10:22 AM by Donald Holdorf


All courts addressing such items as fining or rules adoption look first to whether the board has the authority to adopt said regulation. If the legal instruments provide authority and as long as State law does not prohibit it, then the board can adopt, according to the requirements of their State, a regulation.  
 
Courts also consider that the rules must not discriminate against a particular class - such as investor owners - by limiting their use and enjoyment of their property Properly adopted regulations that apply to all owners in the leasing of property - such as a lease attachment that mandates compliance with the regulations is in most States permitted or authorized. A recent court decision found that there was no authority to adopt a particular regulation.  
 
Mayland case has created a specific ban on a specific breed of dog. This opens up the joint liability of an owner and the board if this is not enforced. It also opens up the need for an association to monitor pet occupancy in the community. A good Pet Rule might require a copy of the license, the name of the Vet, and perhaps if legally permitted, a requirement that the pet's owner has insurance coverage. This could include the renters.  
 
The use of a community posted "dog bag" and receptical is a good idea. Periodic reminders - I liked the use o dog DNA - help.

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 12:19 PM by Nancy Jacobsen


I do NOT agree that banning dogs for renters only the proper thing to do. If there is a dog ban it should apply to everyone living in the complex. How do you know that owners do not let their dog mess on the property? Answer is, you don't!! 
 
 
 
As for adopting new rules, the board must make certain they have the authority to make a particular rule. They must thoroughly research the gov. docs. If the gov. docs. say dogs are allowed and make no distinction between owners and renters, they cannot ban them at all. The owners would have to vote to change the CCRs. 
 
My assn. has "doggie stations" that provide bags for dog waste. These stations are located throughout our community.

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 1:52 PM by mary


In my Florida Condo Assoc. our bylaws state that owners may have one pet with certain restrictions and renters cannot have pets. Period. Yet our board is allowing some renter to have pets (not one but two) and persist with allowing other violations. Can't wait until new election.--Good bye board. Rules are not made to be broken. Rules should be for the welfare of all and are made to be obeyed by all!

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2012 2:42 PM by Mae


I would read the governing documents thoroughly. If there is nothing pertaining to this issue, I would suggest that you see if you can get a majority of the owners to vote an amendment to the bylaws that would correct this. I know that when you have that high a percentage of renters, it does or can create problems and when you go to sell, at least in MA, banks don't look favorably when that much of a percentage is rented.

posted @ Monday, September 03, 2012 2:09 PM by Bridget


Can anyone provide the references to actual court cases (in Florida) that relate to renters having pets in condos/townhouses?

posted @ Tuesday, May 07, 2013 2:25 AM by Don


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