C.S. from Middlesex County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a unit owner house a pet in their unit (without leaving the unit) if the Declaration has pet restrictions?
Mister Condo replies:
C.S., that’s a question that can get condo owners fighting like cats and dogs with their Board and neighbors. Pet restrictions in condominiums are quite common. It’s not that condos are inherently unfriendly to pets. It’s just that in order to keep the peace, many condominiums forbid pets so that neighbors don’t have to deal with noise, odor, and other issues commonly associated with pets. That can be a real problem for pet lovers.
Without seeing your particular Declaration, I am assuming it reads that pets are not allowed. If that is the case, then it sounds like having a pet in a unit is a clear violation of that provision. If the Declaration reads that pets cannot be left unattended in the unit and the unit owner is staying with the pet at all times, then it sounds like the Declaration would allow for that situation.
There are also situations where a unit owner can petition the Board to have a pet restriction eased or removed. Keep in mind that certain state and federal laws would overrule the condo Declaration as well. For instance, service animals should be allowed as banning a service animal could be seen as a form of discrimination.