The remedies depend on the covenants. A person is allowed to have a service dog, but reasonable restrictions still apply. I would also notify the unit owner as if here is a covenant violation the owner would also be liable.
Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel, P.C.
151 N Delaware St #1900
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Stephen Buschmann is an attorney.
Let’s start with what is not the question. This is framed as the animal being a service dog. If that is truly the case, then it would not be left in the unit while the owner is gone – it would be with the owner. Perhaps the animal was listed as service animal to skirt a ‘no-pet” requirement (or because it exceeds the weight limit for allowed pets)? I would suggest first getting proof that it is a true service animal and if there is none, and it is otherwise not allowed, take steps to have it removed.
If it is found to be a true service animal, then enforce whatever applicable Bylaw or Rule the association has relative to unattended animals making excessive noise. If there is none, then (1) enact something and (2) in the meantime, check to see if the barking violates any applicable municipal ordinance (and, if so, notify the municipality of the violation).
Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
Sara A. Austin is an attorney.
There are a number of concerns. Are there written rules governing pets and or service animals? If the dog is left outside what is the weather? Hot, cold, raining, snow? If the dog has to relieve him/herself is it cleaned up or is the animal wallowing in it. That could be animal abuse. Other than a noise issue is the dog aggressive or threatening? If there is animal abuse or the animal is threatening the police and or animal control should be contacted. A barking dog is a noise complaint which usually results in a summons with a fine. If the tenant is violating the written rules that needs to be documented. The owner of the unit should be held responsible for the actions of their tenants. Generally, people with a real need for service animals are caring so the animal is not abused.
1 Marine Plz Ste 304
North Bergen, NJ 07047-6234
First check the municipality ordinances on dogs and noise. They may do the heavy lifting on the matter for you. The association can fine under their dog rules or nuisance provision in the declaration and hope to collect them at sale. Courts are less and less willing to award fines so going to court to collect may just waste a lot of money. The local magistrate can remove a dog but only if it is aggressive, not if it is noisy, especially since it is a support dog.As a final attempt to fix the situation, contact animal friends and state that the dog is being cruelly treated by being left out on the deck all day in all kinds of bad weather and hot sun.
ACRI Commercial Realty
290 Perry Highway, Suite 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15229-1864
First, let’s make sure your terminology is correct. A “service” dog is an animal trained to assist someone with a disability, e.g., a seeing-eye dog. An “emotional support” animal is an animal who provides needed comfort to their owner, as certified by a psychiatrist or someone else with the necessary mental health training. I am assuming you are referring to the latter.
Regardless of the category, no animal is free to create a “nuisance” or violate the other reasonable requirements of the House Rules. If the dog is barking frequently enough to disturb other residents, the Board has the right to require the owner to take appropriate steps to alleviate the problem, e.g., muzzling the dog or at least bringing it inside, or (since dogs are pack animals) taking it to “Doggy Day Care” for its own emotional support. If they refuse, then the Association can take action under its documents or pursue legal action as it sees fit.
Smith Buss & Jacobs LLP
733 Yonkers Ave
Yonkers, NY 10704-2635
(212) 688-2400 ext 4102
Kenneth Jacobs is an attorney.
Ohio law permits nuisance animals to be removed from the property. The declaration should be consulted for the rights given the Board to control pets, but usually, there is sufficient authority in the governing documents for the Board to remove problem pets. If the tenant fails to respond to notices from the Board to remove the animal, then Ohio law allows the Board to evict the tenant and the dog for creating a nuisance on the property. Certain notices have to be delivered to the landlord before an eviction can be filed, but an owner’s tenant can be removed by the Board if the situation becomes intolerable. Otherwise, the Board can simply file suit to remove the dog and leave the tenant in place if eviction is too extreme for the Board’s taste. Starting with letters from the Association’s attorney is a good practice since it establishes the Board’s “reasonableness” in solving this problem.
CHARLES T. WILLIAMS
Fellow, College of Community Association Lawyers
WILLIAMS & STROHM, LLC | ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Two Miranova Place | Suite 380 | Columbus, OH 43215
P: (614) 228-0207 | F: (614) 228-6984
Toll Free: 888-228-9682
Charles Williams is an attorney.
I would need to review what language may be in the covenants or the rules and regulations that could be applicable to a situation like this. If there is no provision specifically dealing with barking dogs, there may be other provisions, such as a prohibition against loud noises, or perhaps something more general such as a prohibition against conduct that creates a nuisance or activity that disturbs or disrupts other owners’ quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their homes. If there is not a provision in the covenants or the rules and regulations that can be used to address this, then it would be recommended to add one as soon as practicable. In regard to enforcement, this situation involving the barking dog should be handled using the same process as any other violation, which normally would be a written warning then a fine if the violation persists . The fact that the violator is apparently a renter is immaterial; the owner of the unit is responsible to ensure that no violations are committed by his tenants. I am not particularly concerned about the dog in question being a service dog. I don’t believe that affects the analysis here. Based on the facts as explained, the fact that the tenant who owns the dog may have a disability would not affect the manner in which this situation should be handled. Having the disability would not serve as a justification for allowing the dog to bark persistently in a disruptive manner on an outside balcony, and nor would such disability constitute a defense against enforcement of the covenants or the rules and regulations in this instance.
Finkel Law Firm, LLC
PO Box 41489
Charleston, SC 29423-1489
Sean O’Connor is an attorney.
Most communities have rules and regulations that are specific to pet owners obligations with respect to their dogs. If a warning has already been sent then you rules may give the option to fine them for each occurrence. If in NY, there are laws against leaving an animal unattended and a call to the dog warden may also help.
Doris J. Steele
Spinnaker Management LLC
3104 State Route 208
Wallkill, NY 12589
845-895-8122 office number
Without reading the condos bylaws and rules it is hard to see where they stand. But most properties have some clauses that state owners cannot cause disturbances with their surrounding neighbors and that all neighbors have the right to a quality of life. So the barking could be seen as a violation against this rule that could be enforced.
Also most properties have a rule that states dogs must be leashed when on the property and not left out unattended. If they have this rule or clause they can send a violation to the owner regarding this matter.
But I am pretty certain that within their bylaws and governing documents there are rules that would apply to get this addressed.
1961 Route 6
Carmel, NY 10512
If this dog was a pet I would be happy as the Manager to weigh in on the topic. Being that the dog is a service animal, it becomes a completely different scenario. Service animals (and more specifically the residents that need them) have legal rights and therefore in this situation I would not be comfortable as a Community Association Manager formulating a specific recommendation to the Board. My strong recommendation to the Board would be to seek the advice of their Attorney and then follow the legal advice received. Acting without legal help in this scenario could be a very slippery slope.
Scalzo Property Management, Inc.
2 Stony Hill
Bethel, CT 06801
I assume from the question, which indicates that resident is complaining about a large “service dog,” that perhaps the community does not allow pets. As the reader may be aware, decisions of federal and state courts interpreting the Federal Fair Housing Law and New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination have held that in certain instances housing providers, such as a common interest community, must accommodate those with a legitimate physical or emotional disability requiring the support or assistance of an animal. Nonetheless, even where an accommodation is required by law, the resident is still required to maintain the animal in accordance with exiting rules and regulations – which often include, among other requirements, that residents permit no activity that creates a nuisance or annoyance to other residents. Such rules require the resident to take all actions necessary to prevent the animal from making noise that may unreasonably annoy or disturb the peace of neighboring residents.
Regardless of whether or not the animal is a “service dog,” if the barking exceeds the average noise level a reasonable person would expect while living in a condominium, then the resident may be in violation of restrictions in the governing documents prohibiting any acts which may be or become an annoyance or nuisance to other Martin in the community. If this is the case, the Association may determine to (a) issue a letter advising the owner to keep the barking of the dog at a reasonable level so as not to cause a nuisance to other residents (b) fine the unit owner if permitted by the governing documents and/or (c) refer the complaining unit owner and owner of the dog to mediation.
Becker & Poliakoff
Martin C. Cabalar
Attorney at Law
1776 on the Green
67 Park Place, Suite 702
Morristown, NJ 07960
T: 973.898.6502 | C: 973.590.4539