Pets in Condo Association

Some people fight for pets and some are not in favor of pets (some because of allergies and some for other reasons). I love animals and have had many wonderful pets, but even I do not love everyone’s pets. Some of my friend’s pets are well behaved and some are obnoxious (the pets I mean).

As to those of the obnoxious variety, it seems the cause is either a lack of good “parenting” or a disrespect of the comfort of others by the pet owner. Most people seem to think that whatever their pets do is “cute”. Not always so. I really don’t like it when an owner yells “he’s friendly”as his big dog lumbers up and slobbers all over someone’s clean black pants or scares a toddler.  And there was one time when me, my kids and grandkids were are all in the park having a picnic and a young couple comes to the park and lets their dogs off leash also yelling “it’s okay, they’re friendly” as they watch their unmannered dogs run amuck through the picnic blanket disrupting and nosing the picnic food and stealing a sandwich right out of my grandson’s hand. Not cute at all.

Here is an email from a concerned reader:

In our condo pets are not permitted and one condo-owner is violating pur bylaws by keeping a cat and some people in our building are allergic to cats. She is not corresponding and not answering the door. Is there anything that can be done lawfully to have the cat removed?”
 In the binding California case of Nahrstedt vs. Lakeside Village decided more than 10 years ago the judges found that keeping cats indoors when there was a probition on pets was actionable, and ordered the owner to remove the pets, even though they were kept inside.
However, years later the California legislature opened up the door to owners to have a pet unless the CC&Rs prohibit pets and none of the “governing documents” have been amended since the law took place.
There is debate among attorneys about whether any change in the rules or adoption of new rules, which rules fall within the legal definition of “governing documents”, constitutes a change that would negate an existing prohibition on pets.  Most HOAs or Condo Associations have made some change in the rules or documents since the law was passed.
In fact, the same legislators have since passed a law requiring Condos and HOAs to adopt election rules and so the question becomes, what does this have to do with pet rules if those are not being changed, and that is what leads to the debate among professionals about whether every HOA or Condo Association has to allow owners to have at least one pet.  


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