J.B. from Colorado writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My condos do not allow dogs. The HOA board president says service dogs are not allowed. I am looking into getting a service dog for my disability. I have owned my unit for almost 2 years. There are 48 units in the complex. Can the board prevent me from getting a service animal? Wouldn’t this be ADA discrimination? I am in Colorado. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., in my opinion, your HOA Board President is misinformed. The HOA Board cannot prevent a unit owner from owning and housing a service animal. If they persist in denying you a service animal or fine you for owning a service animal, you will simply hire an attorney and sue them. Given the prevailing court cases ruling in favor of service animals, I have little doubt you will win. HOAs can restrict pets. However, a service animal is not a pet and, as such, it cannot be governed by the HOA. You will need some type of documentation that the service animal is required and/or prescribed. Be sure to ask your health care provider for such documentation and provide a written copy to your Board at your earliest convenience. All the best!