V.F. from Middlesex County, Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a 44-unit “Pet Friendly” over 55 association. In the past we were told not to have our pets relieve themselves on the grass. So, I and a number of other dog owners would walk our dogs and naturally they would pee on their walks. Now the Board is telling us we can no longer walk dog to relieve themselves. We need to curb our dogs in the back of our units and if the grass is damaged we need to pay to have the grass fixed. Isn’t this setting us up for failure? We are all responsible dog owners and always clean up after our dogs. The email that was sent out with the above instructions was sent to all condo owners and was condescending as well as embarrassing for all dog owners. Do we have any recourse? Ty for your help.
Mister Condo replies:
V.F., many condos and HOAs struggle with pet rules and their enforcement. At the heart of the matter is the fact that the condo or HOA has decided to allow pets yet has failed to provide for their need to relieve themselves. Kind of like building a home with no toilets! Responsible pet owners are willing to follow the rules and typically clean up after their pets but also require someplace near their front door for their pets to answer nature’s call. Many associations do limit pet relief areas to lesser seen areas such as the back your unit. Additionally, since that is likely to cause grass burnout, requiring pet owners to pay for the damage isn’t unreasonable but is difficult to enforce due to the nature of knowing exactly which pet caused the grass to burn out. All that being said, you have elected the folks that run your association and if you don’t care for how they are handling themselves or the way they communicate with owners, you can replace them with friendlier folks. Unlike your pets, you are not required to provide unconditional love. Use the power of your vote to elect pet-friendly leaders. All the best!