M.G. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
When I moved into my condo, it allowed dogs. At the time I had a dog, so this was very important to me. The condo association has since changed it so that no dogs are allowed, except for those that were on the property at the time the rule changed. I now would like to adopt a new dog and the condo association has informed me that I am not grandfathered in as a unit owner, only the dog was. Can the board take away rights that unit owners had when they purchased the condo?
Mister Condo replies:
M.G., I am not an attorney so please consider my answer as friendly and not legal. For legal advice, kindly consult with a qualified attorney. In a word, “yes” the Board can make rule changes that prohibit new animals from being brought into the community. As the elected officials of the association, they are charged with the community’s governance and, having been democratically elected by the unit owners, have the authority to do so. However, as a unit owner, you also have rights, including the right to vote them out of office if they are not doing their job of representing the best interests of the association. You also have the right to request that they reconsider their position on allowing dogs at the condo. If you and enough like-minded unit owners encourage them to do so, they might just do that. My guess is that they created the rule change due to neglectful behavior of existing unit owners. Was there excessive barking? Were some unit owners not picking up properly after their pets? Was there an altercation between dogs or people on the property? Something made them decide to change the rule. It will take unit owner encouragement for them to repeal the rule. Good luck!