D.R. from Litchfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have a one dog rule in our condo. My daughter who is away at school left me her 5lb. Papillion to take care of about a year ago. This dog was sick and had been neglected by my first wife. Unfortunately, we already had a dog of our own. We have been found out and received 2 letters from the board. Today we attended the board meeting to plead with them to allow us another few months, when my daughter will be able to take care of the dog herself. I don’t know what they are going to decide. They vote in private. What are my rights in this situation, if any? Is there any way to legally keep them off our backs? We are good people and never made any trouble.
Mister Condo replies:
D.R., I feel for your troubles. You were very kind to agree to take in your daughter’s dog while she was away at school. However, your kindness to your daughter and her dog does not supersede the rules and by-laws of the condominium association to which you voluntarily agreed to abide by when you purchased your condo. As for specific rights, I do not believe you have any. As for the sympathy of your fellow condo residents who serve on the Board, I am sure you have them. You have put them in a sticky situation. If they set aside the one dog rule for you, they effectively have to set the rule aside for everyone or they could open up the association to discrimination charges in the future. They vote in private for good reason. This is an important decision for them and their ruling can have long-reaching affects. My guess is they will find against you and ask you to remove the dog or face fines. Ideally, you will find a temporary home for the dog until your daughter can reclaim it. However, if that is not possible and you wish to keep the dog in your condo, you will likely be fined by your association. You can hire an attorney and fight these fines or you can simply pay them until such time as your daughter can take her dog back. Since you are good people and never make any trouble, I trust you will find the solution that works best for you and for your association. Best wishes.