Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, November 24, 2017
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!


SBCA: Free education for HOAs and condos on satellite placement issues.
(National Trade Organization)
Helping HOAs, condos and property managers with satellite placement issues since 1986.
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: HOA Designated Animal Areas
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
JeffS26
(Washington)

Posts:5


11/03/2017 1:17 PM  
Good afternoon,

I live in a condominium association and within them are rules and regulations. One of the rules I have in question is the FIRST part of the following:
"Animal owner(s) are required to walk their pets in designated areas, and are responsible for cleaning up after their animals."

The designated area for pets is filthy with owners not picking up after their dogs and every time I have been there I've step in dog poop. The bins get filled with trash and never taken care of. There is no poop bags, but just one hand held pooper scooper (even thought animal owners should carry bags just in case). There is two sign that says pick you after your dogs and one piece of paper saying:
"TO THE RESIDENT(S) WHO ARE NOT CLEANING UP AFTER THEIR LARGE DOG(S) IT IS AGAINST THE RULES AND FINEABLE."
Which to me might give small dog owners a pass. As I mostly see small dog poop and the dog weight limit is 25lbs. Plus it also seems targeted at me as I am the only one with a large dog as I have a 60lb Service Dog certified with the Assistance Dogs International (ADI), but I always clean up after my dog.

So I stopped going there as I was tired of having to clean other peoples dog poop off of my shoes or my service dog's paws. I also don't want my service dog getting any diseases such as the Parvo Virus as that is life threatening and my service dog needs to be with me 24/7. I take my service dog to other patches of grass that aren't common areas where people lay or play. I always clean up after my service dog having carrying a roll of poop bags in my jacket and the service dog's vest at all times with backup rolls too.

My questions are:

I'm I required to take my service dog to designated areas?
-I know the laws when it comes to service dogs, but where it is not clear for me is the HOA designated pet areas for the pets to use the bathroom. So with them being a service dog does this change "restrictions" for animal bathroom areas with the HOA rules and regulations?

Can I be fined for taking my dog to other areas to use the bathroom even though I clean up after them?
-If I am fined do I have options such as repealing the fine.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


11/03/2017 2:16 PM  
I've never felt large dogs should be treated differently than the small ones - not because I prefer large dogs(!) but because those critters can create just as much poo and racket. That being said, the association does have a right to set reasonable rules for pets and your owning a service dog doesn't make a difference - you might want to see the other conversation on this board I started about service animals. If homeowners have to walk their dogs in designated areas, that's what you'll have to do, or risk a fine, if you don't. You could appeal, but you'd probably lose.

Anyway, your board may have to start hitting people in the wallet (that usually gets their attention) and I'm not just talking about fines, as you have to catch people in the act. I've heard there are companies that will actually clean up dog walking areas, so your board might want to look into that, budge it as a line item in the operating budget and adjust assessments accordingly. Better yet, if they know all of the owners who have a dog, perhaps THOSE owners (including you) need to be assessed some sort of annual fee to pay for this - why should a non-pet owner have to pay for your mess?

I'm sure people will moan about that, saying "but other people come to our community and use our bark park." If that's the case, someone needs to tell those people the area is limited to residents only. Or put a camera in the area to monitor it so you'll know when a resident's dog does its business and the owner walks away. There are even companies who you can pay to collect samples of the poo to test its DNA to find out which animal did the do, as it were. Hire a company like that, if one exists in your area and those costs can be built into whatever fine is assessed. (I'd love to see someone try to appeal THAT!) Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about visitors unless the area is fenced off, and then you'll have to install some sort of key system to ensure only residents are able to access it (if they let in their friends, enemies or whoever, they get fined for that too). The area was set up for residents, so either they figure out a way to police it themselves or shaddup and keep the place clean as best they can. Peer pressure can be very effective.

Finally, if no one else says it, thanks for being a responsible pet owner. Too many people don't seem to know or care that an abundance of poo will attract flies that carry diseases that can affect their pets AND people. Not to mention poo also attracts vermin like rats, and you know what kind of havoc they'll create.
JeffS26
(Washington)

Posts:5


11/03/2017 2:43 PM  
I appreciate your response.

Looking into the Rules and Regulations for the Condominium Association under the Animal Control chapter the only place that they mention fine is when someone doesn't comply with bringing a dog to the office to be weighed. Under the rule that I mention before about designated animal areas it just states that "Animal owner(s) are REQUIRED to walk their pets in designated areas, and are RESPONSIBLE for cleaning up after their animals." nothing in their mentions anything about fines.

The introduction to this whole rule books mentions that "These provisions will be enforced by the Board of Directors and the Association's legal counsel, through the assessment of designated penalty fines or through appropriate legal action as required, against the legal adult homeowner(s)." but there is nothing that states the cost of fines or that an animal owner will be fined if they don't use the designated areas. It just mentions that animal owners are required or walk there and responsible for cleaning up after their animals.

Reading the chapter about Architectural Control it clearly states in bold
"FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS IN THIS CHAPTER WILL RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING:
1. FINES ASSESSED AGAINST THE UNIT.
etc..."

With this in mind can a fine still be assigned even though it doesn't clearly state you one will be fined (or the cost of the fine) for the actions of not using designated pet areas?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/03/2017 2:46 PM  
Posted By JeffS26 on 11/03/2017 1:17 PM

I'm I required to take my service dog to designated areas?




If you are taking the dog out to go to the bathroom and want to stay around the condominium, then yes. You are required to utilize the designated area.

You are free to take the dog off property if you wish.

Posted By JeffS26 on 11/03/2017 1:17 PM

So with them being a service dog does this change "restrictions" for animal bathroom areas with the HOA rules and regulations?




You would be considered to be a pet owner like all other pet owners in this instance.
If there was a physical disability or physical barrier preventing you from ingress or egress to the designated area, then reasonable accommodation under the FHA might apply.

However, discourteous owners who do not clean up after there pets would unlikely be considered a physical barrier.


Posted By JeffS26 on 11/03/2017 1:17 PM

Can I be fined for taking my dog to other areas to use the bathroom even though I clean up after them?




Possibly. It depends on what your rules and regulations regarding common areas say.


Posted By JeffS26 on 11/03/2017 1:17 PM

-If I am fined do I have options such as repealing the fine.




You can ask. However, to my knowledge you are not considered any different then any other animal owner in this circumstance.



What you didn't ask was how can the Association address this issue.
You may want to consider making a proposal to the board that they hire a company to clean up the pet area on a daily, weekly, or other specified frequency, basis. Make the suggestion that pet owners cold be charged a monthly fee to share the cost of this service. Perhaps you could even do the research (get some ball park figures together from multiple companies) for the Board to consider.

If the Board concurs, this would address the problem.
If the pet owners rebel at the fee, the Board could use that option to instill responsibility in the owners.


Another option would be for the Board to install cameras in the area to identify those who do not clean up after their pets so individual fines could be assessed (as they would then have the proof).
JeffS26
(Washington)

Posts:5


11/03/2017 2:55 PM  
Both of you have listed great solutions on addressing this on going issue of owners not cleaning up after their dogs. I'll keep those ideas in mind along with researching solutions.

I wanted respond on of your answers to my question below:

"Can I be fined for taking my dog to other areas to use the bathroom even though I clean up after them?




Possibly. It depends on what your rules and regulations regarding common areas say. "


I previously posted right before you answered this:
"Looking into the Rules and Regulations for the Condominium Association under the Animal Control chapter the only place that they mention fine is when someone doesn't comply with bringing a dog to the office to be weighed. Under the rule that I mention before about designated animal areas it just states that "Animal owner(s) are REQUIRED to walk their pets in designated areas, and are RESPONSIBLE for cleaning up after their animals." nothing in their mentions anything about fines.

The introduction to this whole rule books mentions that "These provisions will be enforced by the Board of Directors and the Association's legal counsel, through the assessment of designated penalty fines or through appropriate legal action as required, against the legal adult homeowner(s)." but there is nothing that states the cost of fines or that an animal owner will be fined if they don't use the designated areas. It just mentions that animal owners are required or walk there and responsible for cleaning up after their animals.

Reading the chapter about Architectural Control it clearly states in bold
"FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS IN THIS CHAPTER WILL RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING:
1. FINES ASSESSED AGAINST THE UNIT.
etc..."

With this in mind can a fine still be assigned even though it doesn't clearly state one will be fined (or the cost of the fine) for the actions of not using designated pet areas? "

Does this help offer better clarity on the possibility of me being fined for taking my dog to other areas to use the bathroom even though I clean up after them?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/03/2017 2:59 PM  
Jeff,

Are you simply trying to get out a potential fine or are you trying to resolve the issue of having a designated area for pets where owners who don't pick up after their pets cause problems that the Board isn't addressing?
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/03/2017 3:07 PM  
..... Animal owner(s) are REQUIRED to walk their pets in designated areas .....



IMO (not an attorney):

You do not own a pet.

You are partnered with a service animal.

Therefor pet restrictions do not apply.


If, however, you actually have an 'emotional support animal' all bets are off.
JeffS26
(Washington)

Posts:5


11/03/2017 3:12 PM  
I came here for a better understanding on this subject.

On the subject of the of a dirty pet area you both provided solutions to resolve this issue. That was taken care of with both of your answers and needed no further addressing at this time.

There is no fine, but it is important to have clarity on the rules and regulations.
-I'll clarify with the HOA, but I believe it is important to go to more than one source for an answer.
JeffS26
(Washington)

Posts:5


11/03/2017 3:20 PM  
Posted By PaininyourA on 11/03/2017 3:07 PM
..... Animal owner(s) are REQUIRED to walk their pets in designated areas .....



IMO (not an attorney):

You do not own a pet.

You are partnered with a service animal.

Therefor pet restrictions do not apply.


If, however, you actually have an 'emotional support animal' all bets are off.




Knowing the Federal Laws along with the ADA this is very clear going anywhere, but where it is not clear is when it comes to condominium association rules and regulations. I would think that Federal Laws and the ADA would trump a condominium association rules and regulations, but I want to be clear first.

My dog is a certified service animal that extensive training and biannual recertification. Their not a ESA.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/03/2017 4:42 PM  
Jeff,

ADA does not apply to private entities, such as your condominium.

FFHA does apply (and almost mirrors the ADA).


Regarding fines, in my opinion, unless State statutes say otherwise, the Association may impose monetary penalties for failure to clean up after your pet. The Association may also impose monetary penalties for failure to comply with the rules and regulations regarding use of the common area with pets.

Although the FFHA may specify that a service animal is not a pet, I disagree with John that the Association may not require you to follow the same rules with your service animal. To see who would be right in that interpretation would require a court ruling.

Although it may be a technicality (and cases are won and lost on technicalities) it's also common sense.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/04/2017 7:12 AM  
clean-up after poop = required

location of pooping (providing no nuisance) = immaterial

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:6788


11/04/2017 7:29 AM  
We did not have a designated pet area. However, the area close to the dumpsters did not have issue with. No one lived around them and close to toss.

Unfortunately, the open area near the pool some people were using as a pet area. Which tracked poo into the pool and kids could not use the basketball hoop. It just really stank. What I did was put up a cheap wire fence, spread pet repellent, and put a sign on the fence warning of the repellent/area not pet area. Plus went out and picked up the dog poop.

Of course the people who the biggest offenders complained about my use of pet repellant. It irritated their sinuses. Although on a few occasions I had never put it down. Just put signs up. It washes away in the rain after a few days. In the end, everyone did get the message to NOT use that area as pet bathroom. Just took about a month.

I owned 2 dogs at the time. When I use dog areas, I think it's the responsibility of all that uses that area to keep it clean. If they aren't, then you need to approach the board with some solutions such as putting a fence up, signs, or hiring a service to pick up the poo. (They do exist). Fines just make people angry but doesn't correct the issue. You need something more solid and responsible.

Former HOA President
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/04/2017 8:32 PM  
Posted By JeffS26 on 11/03/2017 1:17 PM

My questions are:

I'm I required to take my service dog to designated areas? Potentially your "Service Dog" is allowed with you anywhere as long as you clean up after you dog if at all possible. For example ... sorry a "blind" person is not going to know if their dog took a dump ... does anyone think for one minute they could see that transgression???
-I know the laws when it comes to service dogs, but where it is not clear for me is the HOA designated pet areas for the pets to use the bathroom. So with them being a service dog does this change "restrictions" for animal bathroom areas with the HOA rules and regulations?

Can I be fined for taking my dog to other areas to use the bathroom even though I clean up after them? Potentially that could be up to a Judge in a Court case if this issue ever went that far. I would recommend following the rules if possible due to your limitations. If the Dog Area is not being properly maintained ... I would bring that fact and issue up with your HOA Board.
-If I am fined do I have options such as repealing the fine.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.



Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > HOA Designated Animal Areas



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement