Using solely the facts in the question and nothing else, a rule limiting units to 2 dogs each would be permissible. That would then be something owners would need to follow both as a stand-alone rule and pursuant to the Bylaws provision.
Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
There are two issues:
1. Rules and Regulations are intended to further the intent and purposes of the By-Laws. I do not have the By-Law provision to review, so I can make no judgement on this score. If the By-Law indicates an intent not to limit pets, you may have a difficult time with a rule establishing such limits.
2. The second issue has to do with those who already have more pets than the proposed new rule will allow. There will be a substantial political backlash and perhaps even a lawsuit if you do not grandfather existing pets. In order to do so, you will have to have an enforceable pet registration procedure.
Robert C. Griffin
Griffin Alexander, P.C.
415 Route 10 Ste 6-8
Randolph, NJ 07869-2100
I am assuming you live in a condominium, since the restrictions are contained in the by-laws and not the declaration. Most sets of covenants allow boards to adopt rules and regulations governing the operation and use of the common areas. However, those rules and regulations must be consistent with the provisions of and the authority granted by the recorded documents. If a set of covenants have no restrictions on parking, a board can’t impose those restrictions by rule. By the same token the board can’t restrict a right, by rule, that is specifically granted in the recorded covenants, nor can they grant a right that is prohibited in the covenants.
In order to properly respond to the question, one would have to review the specific language in the recorded language on pets and then review the restrictions the board members wish to impose. I suggest that you consult the association’s attorney on this issue.
Stephen R. Buschmann
Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel
Market Square Center
151 N. Delaware St., Suite 1900
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2505
Without actually reviewing the specific language of Bylaws or Declaration, I cannot provide a definitive opinion. The Bylaws and Declaration sound like they generally allow pets. However, the writer does not indicate that there is a number limitation in either document. However, since the Bylaws do allow and authorize pet rules, it is my opinion that the Board could put a numeric restriction on pets in the Rules and Regulations.
David G. Hellmuth
Hellmuth & Johnson
8050 West 78th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55439
I would need to review your specific by-law provision. Typically, the by-laws do not contain provisions regulating the harboring of pets, but this is left to the purview of the board to adopt such rules and regulations. Boards may prohibit or limit the number, size or breed of pets to be harbored within a unit. However, I typically advise boards to “grandfather” existing pets. However, if your by-laws provide (or even infer) that unit owners may harbor pets within their units, then this provision cannot be amended by way of a rule adopted by the board, but will require a by-law amendment adopted by the unit owners.
John H. Gettinger, Esq.
Shapiro Gettinger Waldinger & Monteleone, LLP
118 North Bedford Road
Mount Kisco, New York 10549