A.A. from California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
A while back, a previous group of board members agreed when a neighbor wanted to help pay for a landscaping change from ivy to grass. Ever since, the owner of the condo acts like the grass is her property, too. The grass is in the common area in “her front yard”. Which faces a high-traffic walking area for all of our community. She yells at people who allow their dogs to use that grass as a potty area. She says “go poop in front of your home or somewhere else.” “Kids play here and when you not responsible, I have to clean up after your dog”. It’s gotten so bad that the owner has called the cops on several occasions because the owner and the dog walker get into loud and angry arguments over this. She has been told over and over it’s a common area and the community is allowed. However, they should be respectful and responsible. The neighbor is a good friend of mine and I am ready to put in a landscaping request to pull out the lawn. Any suggestions?
Mister Condo replies:
A.A., this is an unfortunate situation for all involved. It is not uncommon for condominium unit owners to think of the common areas in their immediate vicinity as their own. Clearly, this is not the case and the common areas are for all to enjoy. That being said, I have to wonder that your association doesn’t have rules about where pets are allowed to relive themselves. Most associations forbid pet walking on their common areas for the very reasons cited by the owner in question here. So instead of a “win/win” situation, a “lose/lose” scenario has been created. And it has gone as far as to pit neighbor against neighbor to the point where the police have had to intervene. Neither party is correct here so what does the Board have to say about it? Are they aware? If there are rules about pet walking that are not being enforced, your neighbor really has no choice but to allow people to blatantly break the rules and create a nuisance for the community from irresponsible pet owners. Perhaps a designated pet walking area on the common grounds could be created? If not, this situation is likely to continue until the Board either strictly enforces the pet walking rules or returns the grassy area to its previous condition. Neither solution is ideal but either would help restore the peace. All the best!