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Subject: help ! condo changing rules and regulations about pets
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KatieB1


Posts:0


06/19/2018 9:45 PM  
can a hoa board just decide to change the rules and regulations regarding pet weight without a vote, previously it was "if the pet will knowingly exceed 25 pounds" since my dog was a 3 month old abandoned puppy i of course had no way of knowing how much he would weigh, i have had him for 3 years and now the board is changing it to "anyone with a pet over 35 pounds has to remove the animal from the premises or pay $5 per pound that the dog is over" they say this includes current residents. so now apparently my options are to pay them an extra $90 a month or sell my house cause im not getting rid of my dog. there was no vote taken on this and they also say this applies to service dogs, which unless im mistaken is a clear violation of the fair housing act. im beyond pissed, you cant just up and decide that even though ive had my dog for 3 years i cant have him here anymore, hes not aggressive, i walk him on a leash, i clean up his waste. if thats the case can they just up and decide to start charging fines to people with more than 2 kids? my dogs are my children and in my eyes this is tantamount to extortion. please help me!
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/19/2018 10:00 PM  
Unless I am reading this wrongly, they *increased* the weight limit, but got more stern about enforcing this rule.

Of course saying it applies to service animals and ESAs conflicts with Federal Law and is therefore unenforceable. Otherwise, I am not sure what you can do.

Perhaps under your state law or governing documents the fine schedule could be challenged, but I don't see any legal defense to the rule itself, or fining for non-compliance in and of itself.

You can't say the previous rule should be the right one, it disallowed your dog as well.
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/19/2018 10:34 PM  
The previous rule had a loophole that allowed my dog by stating that if you KNEW the dog would eventually exceed 25 lbs, so if I bought a Great Dane puppy I would obviously know that he would eventually exceed 25 lbs, but my dog is a mixed breed that I had no way of knowing his eventual weight and the vet told me she believed he was a beagle/ dachshund mix, if she was correct he would have been within the weight limit but he is now 52 lbs, which I had no way of predicting. So he was within the previous rules and regulations due to that loophole which they are not only closing but trying to act retroactively as well, he’s been here for 3 years you can’t just decide it’s not allowed anymore
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/19/2018 10:44 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 10:34 PM
The previous rule had a loophole that allowed my dog by stating that if you KNEW the dog would eventually exceed 25 lbs, so if I bought a Great Dane puppy I would obviously know that he would eventually exceed 25 lbs, but my dog is a mixed breed that I had no way of knowing his eventual weight and the vet told me she believed he was a beagle/ dachshund mix, if she was correct he would have been within the weight limit but he is now 52 lbs, which I had no way of predicting. So he was within the previous rules and regulations due to that loophole which they are not only closing but trying to act retroactively as well, he’s been here for 3 years you can’t just decide it’s not allowed anymore




Can you post the entirety of the wording of the original rule? I don't see it the same way you do. Ours has similar language and it's no loophole, it's the opposite. It's to not allow the loophole that any puppy is going to be under 25 pounds, but if it's going to grow to more, then it won't be allowed and allows the BOD to preemptively remove it before it actually does.




KatieB1


Posts:0


06/19/2018 11:03 PM  
“If an animal is known that it will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days. If the animal is not removed within 30 days the owner shall be liable to pay the association $100 etc....” so that would mean that if I have no way of knowing the weight of a dog at its full maturity which is impossible to do with a mixed breed puppy especially when my vet told me he would be a small dog than I am not included in that statement. I had no way of knowing that he would exceed 25 lbs
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/19/2018 11:21 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 11:03 PM
“If an animal is known that it will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days. If the animal is not removed within 30 days the owner shall be liable to pay the association $100 etc....” so that would mean that if I have no way of knowing the weight of a dog at its full maturity which is impossible to do with a mixed breed puppy especially when my vet told me he would be a small dog than I am not included in that statement. I had no way of knowing that he would exceed 25 lbs




Sorry, dear, that means the dog became illegal when it went over 25 pounds. I would bet that somewhere else it says that the weight limit is 25 pounds, and this passage is elaborating on that. The intent of the wording, as I said above, is not a loophole that allows people who 'didn't know' to keep the oversized dog. It's to prevent puppies being brought in that will, when grown, bust the weight limit.

Sure, while the dog is growing people can say 'No, he isn't going to be over 25 pounds, my Vet said he will not', and since they can't exactly prove that, they would have to wait and see, but it's not a loophole. It's difficult to argue with a rule that got more generous with the weight limit. Were it the other way around it would be different, but still not useful to you in particular, given the size of your dog.

Not that I am unsympathetic, quite the opposite. I would fight in any way I could. The question for you is whether you can, and precisely how.

PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


06/20/2018 3:10 AM  
Is the weight restriction on dogs written in the By-Laws or the CCR's? Is there a City Ordinance with a weight restriction? If not, the Rule may not be enforceable. A vote of the membership would be required to change the governing documents to enforce this restriction. We were once requested to prohibit surround sound systems and sub-woofers from residences and to only allow carpet in upper units. Without the authority granted by our By-Laws or CCR's we would have had to amend them to enforce these requests.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/20/2018 3:44 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/20/2018 3:10 AM
Is the weight restriction on dogs written in the By-Laws or the CCR's? Is there a City Ordinance with a weight restriction? If not, the Rule may not be enforceable. A vote of the membership would be required to change the governing documents to enforce this restriction. We were once requested to prohibit surround sound systems and sub-woofers from residences and to only allow carpet in upper units. Without the authority granted by our By-Laws or CCR's we would have had to amend them to enforce these requests.




If it is in the by-laws, the change was made to be more generous about the weight limits, so reverting to the old rule would not help Katie.

Katie, you should get an attorney to review this, and see if you can fight it.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


06/20/2018 4:16 AM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/20/2018 3:44 AM
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/20/2018 3:10 AM
Is the weight restriction on dogs written in the By-Laws or the CCR's? Is there a City Ordinance with a weight restriction? If not, the Rule may not be enforceable. A vote of the membership would be required to change the governing documents to enforce this restriction. We were once requested to prohibit surround sound systems and sub-woofers from residences and to only allow carpet in upper units. Without the authority granted by our By-Laws or CCR's we would have had to amend them to enforce these requests.




If it is in the by-laws, the change was made to be more generous about the weight limits, so reverting to the old rule would not help Katie.

Katie, you should get an attorney to review this, and see if you can fight it.




OP stated that this is a R & R change, unless I missed it. My reply was based on that information.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
AryG
(Illinois)

Posts:3


06/20/2018 6:35 AM  
I love dogs, and would sell or rent my unit if I was put in this situation. However, you are definitely in the wrong here. The wording of that rule is to prevent exactly what you did. They don't want people bringing in puppies and then saying they weighed under 25 lbs when I got them. Your dog weighing more than double the limit pretty much blows your whole premise up.
TimM11


Posts:166


06/20/2018 6:43 AM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/19/2018 11:21 PM

Sorry, dear, that means the dog became illegal when it went over 25 pounds.




Not the way they worded it, it doesn't. If the intention was to prohibit all animals over 25 pounds no matter what, it should have been worded that way, but it wasn't. The part about knowing the weight gives her an out under the old rule, if not the new one.

FWIW, this isn't an unusual situation at all, even when you know the breed. My dog is a purebred to the best of our knowledge, but 25 pounds would be right in the middle of the weight range, which for some breeds, can be fairly significant.

TimM11


Posts:166


06/20/2018 6:54 AM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 9:45 PM
can a hoa board just decide to change the rules and regulations regarding pet weight without a vote, previously it was "if the pet will knowingly exceed 25 pounds" since my dog was a 3 month old abandoned puppy i of course had no way of knowing how much he would weigh, i have had him for 3 years and now the board is changing it to "anyone with a pet over 35 pounds has to remove the animal from the premises or pay $5 per pound that the dog is over" they say this includes current residents. so now apparently my options are to pay them an extra $90 a month or sell my house cause im not getting rid of my dog. there was no vote taken on this and they also say this applies to service dogs, which unless im mistaken is a clear violation of the fair housing act. im beyond pissed, you cant just up and decide that even though ive had my dog for 3 years i cant have him here anymore, hes not aggressive, i walk him on a leash, i clean up his waste. if thats the case can they just up and decide to start charging fines to people with more than 2 kids? my dogs are my children and in my eyes this is tantamount to extortion. please help me!




As was mentioned, contacting an attorney if possible to see what they suggest is a good step. It's troubling that they changed this rule without grandfathering in current owners; they may not have been legally required to do so, but any decent HOA would have done that (mine did when they enacted a weight limit a number of years ago).

The way the HOA worded the previous rule gives you an out, because there are many dogs for which one would have no exact of what the eventual weight would be. Would your veterinarian be willing to vouch for their earlier estimate regarding the breeds? Frankly, I am surprised they worded the old rule so loosely, as one could drive a bus through that loophole, but so be it.

It sounds like they never took any action against you under the old rule; is that correct?

Finally, there are ways to fight this indirectly, if need be. You could always try contacting local advocacy groups, notifying the media, etc.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/20/2018 7:37 AM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 9:45 PM
can a hoa board just decide to change the rules and regulations regarding pet weight without a vote, ...
you cant just up and decide that even though ive had my dog for 3 years i cant have him here anymore, hes not aggressive, i walk him on a leash, i clean up his waste. if thats the case can they just up and decide to start charging fines to people [for la-ti-da]


First, even if there was either a board vote or a membership vote, I think the courts would agree with you, Katie. Like TimM11 said, I believe the HOA is, at a minimum, required to grandfather your dog. One reason I think the courts would require grandfathering of your dog is that you bought your home based on the then existing rules. The courts, in so many words, say the then-existing rules form a de facto contract. A court would say it is unjust, under the rules of contracts yada, to make such a radical change to the rules (which is part of the contract) without grandfathering in pre-existing animals. A court might even say either the rule change, or the rule itself, is unlawful under the covenants, period. I grant there are shades of gray, but I think a court would agree that a dog comes close to being a child, and said dog should not be so easily evicted.

Second, it is entirely possible the board will not bother you. The HOA's attorney may very well have advised the Board that it has to grandfather dogs like yours. You might want to wait until and if the HOA issues you a violation notice. I think you do not have legal standing until the HOA does. Though you could go around saying to neighbors, calmly and quietly, "I believe the law requires the HOA to grandfather in pre-existing dogs that do not meet the requirements of the new rule." Just to let the Board know you are not taking this sitting down.

Third, like others said, can you quote exactly what the covenants (a.k.a. "Declaration") say about pets and dogs? It is possible the Board has overextended its reach with either the old rule, the new rule, or both.

Fourth, you may want to get an attorney's opinion at some point, but I would wait until the HOA starts hassling you. Even if one offers a prospective attorney money, in many parts of the country it is hard just finding one who can take your case.

Fifth, I am aware that Louisiana's precedent system is different from the other 49 states. I remain hopeful that the general rules of covenants established nationwide still apply. Justice is justice.




GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:85


06/20/2018 9:09 AM  
“If an animal is known that it will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days.


My take is same as kates, Why put KNOWN in the sentence? It could of easiley of been

“If an animal will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days.


Thus IS KNOWN THAT part was added for a reason, This could be the reason, Maybe the dog was only suppose to get to 25 pounds but you did not know it was going to be 50lbs..

Also the "Brought into the premises" i take as a new animal not existing..

I would ask for the dog to be grandfathered in.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/20/2018 9:47 AM  
Posted By GlenM4 on 06/20/2018 9:09 AM
“Also the "Brought into the premises" i take as a new animal not existing..



Good catch. I agree.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:349


06/21/2018 6:06 AM  
While this is good discussion about the language, what may be missing is the context. The OP may have asked the Board about this earlier and been told, “don’t do it or we will have to enforce,” or the dog’s looks may have clearly shown to many of the residents that it was going to be MASSIVELY over 25 lbs, etc, etc.

I’m OK with dogs, but I am also a supporter of knowing and obeying the rules. If the OP had considered the rules, they would have bought a dog KNOWN to NOT be over 25 lbs when full grown.

In perspective ... TWICE the size of all the other dogs.
TimM11


Posts:166


06/21/2018 7:55 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 06/21/2018 6:06 AM
While this is good discussion about the language, what may be missing is the context. The OP may have asked the Board about this earlier and been told, “don’t do it or we will have to enforce,” or the dog’s looks may have clearly shown to many of the residents that it was going to be MASSIVELY over 25 lbs, etc, etc.

I’m OK with dogs, but I am also a supporter of knowing and obeying the rules. If the OP had considered the rules, they would have bought a dog KNOWN to NOT be over 25 lbs when full grown.

In perspective ... TWICE the size of all the other dogs.




It's the "known" and "will" in the old rule that caused the issue. Twenty-five pounds is right in the middle weight range for a dachsund, and a bit on the high side for a beagle. So if the OP had a professional evaluation that said it was a mix of the two breeds, it was reasonable to expect that it could have been below that fully grown. Now, had the OP gotten, say, a mastiff puppy, you would have a point.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:349


06/21/2018 8:15 AM  
I guess what makes me suspicious is the current over 50 lb weight ... not even in the zone for either of the two breeds.

I know how people get attached to dogs - and, to trying to do good things by adopting ... but, this is about an association attempting to maintain an agreed upon way of life.
TimM11


Posts:166


06/21/2018 9:23 AM  
True, but even professionals make mistakes sometimes. I'm taking what the OP wrote at face value, in the absence of any reason to believe otherwise.

Every homeowner will have a different way of life and idea of what that should look like. Leaving aside the question of how far they should go, all HOAs can do to control that is to make clear, well-written rules and governing docs. Homeowners don't have any obligation to conform to someone's idea of association life outside of those documents (and laws, of course).
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/21/2018 11:34 AM  
When I got the dog (3 years ago) he weighed 5 lbs and the vet said she thought he was a beagle daschund mix (I have paper work stating this) obviously I did consider the rules because as far as I knew (and was told by a professional) he would not exceed the 25 pound weight limit, so I knew and was within the confines of those rules when I rescued the dog.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/21/2018 4:51 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/21/2018 11:34 AM
When I got the dog (3 years ago) he weighed 5 lbs and the vet said she thought he was a beagle daschund mix (I have paper work stating this) obviously I did consider the rules because as far as I knew (and was told by a professional) he would not exceed the 25 pound weight limit, so I knew and was within the confines of those rules when I rescued the dog.




Hi Katie, you said above that the pupper was 3 months old. I don't see how it could have weighed 5 pounds at 3 months. I feel you ought to double check your Vet paperwork and the entirety of the old rules.

If it is viable to argue that it was not 'known' I will be very happy for you, I just have a hard time believing it will be that easy.

Our rules state the weight limit and then in another paragraph elaborate to include any puppy that will grow to above that weight and it's no loophole, it's to prevent a scenario exactly like yours from making a dog legal.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/21/2018 5:14 PM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/21/2018 4:51 PM
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/21/2018 11:34 AM
When I got the dog (3 years ago) he weighed 5 lbs and the vet said she thought he was a beagle daschund mix (I have paper work stating this) obviously I did consider the rules because as far as I knew (and was told by a professional) he would not exceed the 25 pound weight limit, so I knew and was within the confines of those rules when I rescued the dog.




Hi Katie, you said above that the pupper was 3 months old. I don't see how it could have weighed 5 pounds at 3 months. I feel you ought to double check your Vet paperwork




Sorry - can't edit, so I will correct myself here. I was doing math badly, thinking in terms of weeks old my pup that grew to similar size of yours was. At 10 weeks she was about 5 pounds and medically underweight. 3 months is only 2 weeks older!
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4108


06/21/2018 11:57 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 9:45 PM
can a hoa board just decide to change the rules and regulations regarding pet weight without a vote, previously it was "if the pet will knowingly exceed 25 pounds" since my dog was a 3 month old abandoned puppy i of course had no way of knowing how much he would weigh, i have had him for 3 years and now the board is changing it to "anyone with a pet over 35 pounds has to remove the animal from the premises or pay $5 per pound that the dog is over" they say this includes current residents. so now apparently my options are to pay them an extra $90 a month or sell my house cause im not getting rid of my dog. there was no vote taken on this and they also say this applies to service dogs, which unless im mistaken is a clear violation of the fair housing act. im beyond pissed, you cant just up and decide that even though ive had my dog for 3 years i cant have him here anymore, hes not aggressive, i walk him on a leash, i clean up his waste. if thats the case can they just up and decide to start charging fines to people with more than 2 kids? my dogs are my children and in my eyes this is tantamount to extortion. please help me!


Is the language in your CCR’s or is it Rules and Regulations implemented by the BOD?

If it is in your CCR’s then the Owners would need to approve any change. The CCR’s are more legally binding because they are attached to everyone’s property titles, agreed to by owners when purchase, and amendments are agreed to by owners. The Rules and Regulations implemented by a BOD are much easier challenged because they are implemented by a handful of individuals without Owner consent. Therefore, they must be VERY “reasonable”. Potentially if you already owned a pet ... that pet should be “grandfathered”.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/22/2018 12:46 AM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 06/21/2018 11:57 PM
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/19/2018 9:45 PM
can a hoa board just decide to change the rules and regulations regarding pet weight without a vote, previously it was "if the pet will knowingly exceed 25 pounds" since my dog was a 3 month old abandoned puppy i of course had no way of knowing how much he would weigh, i have had him for 3 years and now the board is changing it to "anyone with a pet over 35 pounds has to remove the animal from the premises or pay $5 per pound that the dog is over" they say this includes current residents. so now apparently my options are to pay them an extra $90 a month or sell my house cause im not getting rid of my dog. there was no vote taken on this and they also say this applies to service dogs, which unless im mistaken is a clear violation of the fair housing act. im beyond pissed, you cant just up and decide that even though ive had my dog for 3 years i cant have him here anymore, hes not aggressive, i walk him on a leash, i clean up his waste. if thats the case can they just up and decide to start charging fines to people with more than 2 kids? my dogs are my children and in my eyes this is tantamount to extortion. please help me!


Is the language in your CCR’s or is it Rules and Regulations implemented by the BOD?

If it is in your CCR’s then the Owners would need to approve any change. The CCR’s are more legally binding because they are attached to everyone’s property titles, agreed to by owners when purchase, and amendments are agreed to by owners. The Rules and Regulations implemented by a BOD are much easier challenged because they are implemented by a handful of individuals without Owner consent. Therefore, they must be VERY “reasonable”. Potentially if you already owned a pet ... that pet should be “grandfathered”.




The dog wasn't legal under the old rule.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/22/2018 4:56 AM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/22/2018 12:46 AM
The dog wasn't legal under the old rule.


How do you figure? Katie wrote that: (a) The old rule states "if the pet knowingly will exceed 25 pounds," the pet is prohibited; (b) Katie's dog weighed 5 pounds at age three months; (c) The vet documented that the dog was believed to be a dachshund/beagle mix; and (d) Numerous sources attest that it is usual for dachshunds and beagles to weigh under 25 pounds in adulthood. With this documentation, and the grayness of the word "knowingly," I think that if push ever came to shove in a court of law, in this instance I think a court would say the rule (even if a covenant) is too imprecise to uphold.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/22/2018 5:37 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/22/2018 4:56 AM
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/22/2018 12:46 AM
The dog wasn't legal under the old rule.


How do you figure? Katie wrote that: (a) The old rule states "if the pet knowingly will exceed 25 pounds," the pet is prohibited; (b) Katie's dog weighed 5 pounds at age three months; (c) The vet documented that the dog was believed to be a dachshund/beagle mix; and (d) Numerous sources attest that it is usual for dachshunds and beagles to weigh under 25 pounds in adulthood. With this documentation, and the grayness of the word "knowingly," I think that if push ever came to shove in a court of law, in this instance I think a court would say the rule (even if a covenant) is too imprecise to uphold.




I hope that is the case, but I was replying to a poster who stated that the new rule is her problem, which it is not. It's the old rule that she needs to prove she was legal under before claiming that she should be grandfathered.

The new rule is more generous with the weight limit, not less so. Were it the opposite, grandfathering alone *would* be the issue.

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:521


06/23/2018 1:50 PM  
Rules for pets in your unit would have to be in the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) and those usually require the membership to approve. If your CC&Rs don't state what the requirement is to change them, there may be a state law. Some states require a super majority of membership approval (such as 2/3) even if your CC&Rs state differently. The fact that the board is creating a rule that is less restrictive than the original rule (35 lbs vs 25 lbs) is irrelevant.

While many people choose to ignore certain words and phrases in CC&Rs, they all matter. Even a comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. I agree with your interpretation of the "knowingly exceed 25 pounds." It may not be a smart rule but it is in plain English. If you reasonably did not know your dog was going to exceed 25 pounds, you are not in violation. However, if the board disagrees, it may end up being up to a judge who decides if you reasonably knew or not.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2228


06/23/2018 3:24 PM  
You never know what you're going to get with a judge. You might even get one to opine that dog weight restrictions are not spelled out in the CC&Rs and, therefore, implementing restrictions in the Rules & Regulations is improper, period, no matter what they say. On the other hand, if the CC&Rs specifically state that the Board may enact reasonable rules & regulations regarding animals, then the ruling could go the other way. Another outcome might very well involve interpretaion of the word "knowingly". It's not a vague word, but proving that someone did something "knowingly" can be very difficult.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/23/2018 4:09 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 06/23/2018 3:24 PM
You never know what you're going to get with a judge. You might even get one to opine that dog weight restrictions are not spelled out in the CC&Rs and, therefore, implementing restrictions in the Rules & Regulations is improper, period, no matter what they say.


I agree with Geno on the above and the rest of what he posted here today. When a covenant is ambiguous or vague to the point of requiring guesswork, courts err on the side of 'free enjoyment of property.'
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/23/2018 11:55 PM  
Posted By GlenM4 on 06/20/2018 9:09 AM
“If an animal is known that it will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days.


My take is same as kates, Why put KNOWN in the sentence? It could of easiley of been

“If an animal will eventually exceed 25 lbs or is brought into the premises over 25 lbs the animal must be removed from the premises within 30 days.






Even if the word 'known' was left out, it would still be implied. 'If the dog will eventually exceed 25 pounds' ....... that wording depends on knowing that, doesn't it?

GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:85


06/24/2018 5:59 AM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/23/2018 11:55 PM



Even if the word 'known' was left out, it would still be implied. 'If the dog will eventually exceed 25 pounds' ....... that wording depends on knowing that, doesn't it?







no , then it says once its over 25lb , wither you knew it was going to be or not, then it would be out.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/24/2018 6:22 AM  
Posted By GlenM4 on 06/24/2018 5:59 AM
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/23/2018 11:55 PM



Even if the word 'known' was left out, it would still be implied. 'If the dog will eventually exceed 25 pounds' ....... that wording depends on knowing that, doesn't it?







no , then it says once its over 25lb , wither you knew it was going to be or not, then it would be out.




This is what you said above:

“If an animal *will eventually* exceed 25 lbs ....."

That is what I was referring to. Removing the animal because it will eventually exceed 25 pounds requires knowing that, by the owner and/or the management.

GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:85


06/24/2018 7:50 AM  
I agree, if it was stated that way, but by removing "knowing" it also is implying even if you dont know and the animal still exceeds 25lbs then it has to go.


But with "knowing" still in the statement, it is implying only if you know its going to be over 25lbs. thus if you did not know, the statement is now null for the pet which you did not know.


BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:521


06/24/2018 9:53 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/23/2018 4:09 PM


I agree with Geno on the above and the rest of what he posted here today. When a covenant is ambiguous or vague to the point of requiring guesswork, courts err on the side of 'free enjoyment of property.'



I know that is true in some states but I don't think it is true for all states.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/24/2018 10:13 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 06/24/2018 9:53 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/23/2018 4:09 PM


I agree with Geno on the above and the rest of what he posted here today. When a covenant is ambiguous or vague to the point of requiring guesswork, courts err on the side of 'free enjoyment of property.'



I know that is true in some states but I don't think it is true for all states.


I think it is true for all states. See the Restatement of Torts for common interest communities.

Whether a covenant is ambiguous is where I think the subjectivity lies.
JenniferB14
(Colorado)

Posts:58


06/24/2018 10:31 PM  
I agree completely that "knowingly" allows you to escape this rule, especially if you vet can document for you that as a professional veterinarian he/she felt the puppy was a small breed that would not exceed that weight and thus you were professionally advised. Therefore you did not knowingly bring the puppy home expecting her to be over the maximum weight limit.

The second portion of the rule indicates a new animal being brought on to the premises which would not apply to you. You should absolutely be grandfathered in with your dog, however any new animal would fall under the revised guidelines.

I would fight this tooth and nail and I think you have a good chance personally
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:349


06/25/2018 12:21 PM  
Hmmm ... I keep getting stuck on the dog being twice the size allowed ...
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/25/2018 3:20 PM  
The issue is that even though my dog was allowed under the old rules they are now trying to say that he won’t be because they are changing the rules and are unwilling to grandfather anyone in
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:521


06/25/2018 6:08 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/24/2018 10:13 AM
Posted By BenA2 on 06/24/2018 9:53 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/23/2018 4:09 PM


I agree with Geno on the above and the rest of what he posted here today. When a covenant is ambiguous or vague to the point of requiring guesswork, courts err on the side of 'free enjoyment of property.'



I know that is true in some states but I don't think it is true for all states.


I think it is true for all states. See the Restatement of Torts for common interest communities.

Whether a covenant is ambiguous is where I think the subjectivity lies.



You may be right but I believe that is an interpretation of common law. I know that common law can be interpreted differently from state to state and states can pass statutory law that would override common law. My experience is with criminal law but I believe the principle is also true for civil law.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/25/2018 6:29 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/25/2018 3:20 PM
The issue is that even though my dog was allowed under the old rules they are now trying to say that he won’t be because they are changing the rules and are unwilling to grandfather anyone in




Is that your POV, or did they actually stipulate that your dog was ok under the old rule but not the new one? The distinction is quite important.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2751


06/25/2018 6:58 PM  
Katie,

Do you live in a condo or detached home?
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/25/2018 7:21 PM  
Update : I contacted the local news about them trying to make the new rule apply to service animals, they then contacted them about them breaking the fair housing act and shortly afterwards I received an email retracting that part, so that was fixed. Just for clarification the old rule is the one that was 2 animals that would “knowingly not exceed 25 pounds each” I have had my dog on the property under that rule with no problems for the past 3 years, they are now trying to change that to 2 animals max 35 lbs each. There are a few issues I’m having with this: one - they are not willing to grandfather in current residents (I’m questioning the legality of them not grandfathering in current residents, to me you can’t just decide that all of a sudden I now have to get rid of my dog (absolutely not going to happen), sell my house or pay them $90 a month) to me that’s a form of extortion. Second- when we had the HOA meeting they were asked if it would be okay to make it an overall 70 pound limit (instead of it specifically say 2 35 pound animals), since one of my dogs is 10 pounds and the other is 52 I would be under the limit that way, they said no and when asked why the weight distribution of the animals mattered as long as it was under 70 pounds there answer was “two 35 pound dogs are easier to walk together” when I responded with “I don’t walk my dogs together and you are basing that off of assumption and not fact” they then refused to give me an actual reason. Third- They never took a vote about any of this, I dont know if any of you are familiar with Louisiana state law but we have some of the strictest laws in the country in regards to HOAS (weird right ? I didn’t know that either until I began preparing for this meeting) but the state law actually states that the association (which includes unit owners) has the power to amend the rules and regulations, to me that means this should have never happened without a vote to began with. In the end the decision was to put it up to a vote at a future time. So basically for the time being I WON!
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/25/2018 7:24 PM  
I’ve had him for 3 years. The board members have never said anything during that time or fined me, it’s not my POV but the actual rule itself that stipulated that, the language of the previous rule is vague and included the verbiage “knowingly will exceed” which excludes me
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/25/2018 7:27 PM  
And yes they specifically said that the new rule applies to current owners who have large dogs that are currently on the property and were allowed under the previous rules and regulations
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/25/2018 7:32 PM  
The new rule is the problem, they do not want to grandfather in dogs that were on the property under the previous rule. So even though when I got my dog 3 years ago and he’s been living here under that rule without issue for 3 years they are now saying that NONE of the large dogs that are currently on the property will be grandfathered in
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


06/25/2018 7:58 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/25/2018 7:21 PM
Update :
Just for clarification the old rule is the one that was 2 animals that would “knowingly not exceed 25 pounds each”




Katie,

I'm glad you are in a position that may allow you to keep your pets.

I will point out that, based on what you have provided, you have likely not been in compliance with the "old rule" (cited above).

Expecting that you are a good pet owner, you take care of your pets and have regular vet visits.
Vets weigh animals at every visit.
Therefore, you should have known that your pet was in excess of 25 lbs.

I only bring this up to advice you to be careful how you phrase your arguments.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2751


06/25/2018 8:20 PM  
Rules have to be "fair and reasonable". Doesn't matter which state you reside. I can make an argument of the size of a pet IF the owner were living in a condo, possibly with elevator, but what argument would fly in court IF the owner lived in a detached, single family residence?
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/25/2018 8:45 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 06/25/2018 7:58 PM
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/25/2018 7:21 PM
Update :
Just for clarification the old rule is the one that was 2 animals that would “knowingly not exceed 25 pounds each”




Katie,

I'm glad you are in a position that may allow you to keep your pets.

I will point out that, based on what you have provided, you have likely not been in compliance with the "old rule" (cited above).

Expecting that you are a good pet owner, you take care of your pets and have regular vet visits.
Vets weigh animals at every visit.
Therefore, you should have known that your pet was in excess of 25 lbs.

I only bring this up to advice you to be careful how you phrase your arguments.




I agree with this statement in principle, and I would add that Katie has now recited different wording that says * would knowingly not exceed*, putting more onus on the owner to know FOR SURE that the dog they have brought is such a breed.

However, it's irrelevant if she does not have to prove under the old rule, and should never be mentioned IF the board is stipulating that the dog was legal before, the fist hurdle has been won, and so don't go back and complicate that.

Focus on how rules like this cannot be changed w/o grandfathering. (Or can't be changed w/o 51%, and then would need grandfathering, whatever the case is).
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/25/2018 8:49 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/25/2018 6:58 PM
Katie,

Do you live in a condo or detached home?




I would like to know also.
GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:85


06/26/2018 4:37 AM  
Is this rule in the CCRs , bylaws , or just rules the board adopted?
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/26/2018 5:01 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 06/23/2018 1:50 PM
Rules for pets in your unit would have to be in the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) and those usually require the membership to approve.




? Ours are in rules and regs and do not require owner approval at all. No mention in the Declaration or by-laws at all. Of course they could not tomorrow LOWER the weight limit, and make all the dogs over that weight go away, but that isn't what happened in Katie's situation. Hers is rather unique.

PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


06/26/2018 5:33 AM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/26/2018 5:01 AM
Posted By BenA2 on 06/23/2018 1:50 PM
Rules for pets in your unit would have to be in the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) and those usually require the membership to approve.




? Ours are in rules and regs and do not require owner approval at all. No mention in the Declaration or by-laws at all. Of course they could not tomorrow LOWER the weight limit, and make all the dogs over that weight go away, but that isn't what happened in Katie's situation. Hers is rather unique.





If the rule is only contained in the Rules & Regulations and not the CC&R's, the Board can be overreaching their authority making it impossible to enforce.


Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


06/26/2018 5:45 AM  






If the rule is only contained in the Rules & Regulations and not the CC&R's, the Board can be overreaching their authority making it impossible to enforce.





I came across this years ago. I've been looking for it and FINALLY found it. This is North Carolina.

http://communityassociationmanagement.com/c49-legal-compliance/c57-ask-the-experts/how-to-decipher-hoa-pet-rules/

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/26/2018 5:50 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/26/2018 5:33 AM
Posted By JenniferG11 on 06/26/2018 5:01 AM
Posted By BenA2 on 06/23/2018 1:50 PM
Rules for pets in your unit would have to be in the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) and those usually require the membership to approve.




? Ours are in rules and regs and do not require owner approval at all. No mention in the Declaration or by-laws at all. Of course they could not tomorrow LOWER the weight limit, and make all the dogs over that weight go away, but that isn't what happened in Katie's situation. Hers is rather unique.





If the rule is only contained in the Rules & Regulations and not the CC&R's, the Board can be overreaching their authority making it impossible to enforce.





I'll test that by leaving trash out on my porch, and seeing if I can contest the resulting fine, or put up pink window treatments, (pink from outside view), take glass bottles into the pool area, built a 'catio', attach a sat dish to my patio fence, grill with open flames on my patio, etc and find out how unenforceable these rules are (no, I won't :p)
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:243


06/26/2018 6:01 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/26/2018 5:45 AM






If the rule is only contained in the Rules & Regulations and not the CC&R's, the Board can be overreaching their authority making it impossible to enforce.





I came across this years ago. I've been looking for it and FINALLY found it. This is North Carolina.

http://communityassociationmanagement.com/c49-legal-compliance/c57-ask-the-experts/how-to-decipher-hoa-pet-rules/





That is an interesting read. He does mention that the power to create/change rules and regs can be granted to the BOD in the Declaration.
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/26/2018 8:36 AM  
I feel like some of you may not be fully understanding what’s going on here, he is a mutt a mixed breed dog that was abandoned in a box at around a few months old when I got him, when I brought him to the vet I was told he was a beagle dachshund mix I had no way of KNOWING that he would eventually exceed the 25 pounds. The issue isn’t the old rule so I don’t know why everyone is so focused on that, he WAS ALLOWED under he old rule that was never the issue. The issue is that they are now trying to change it to where he wouldn’t be and are refusing to grandfather them in. Again, he was allowed under the old rule, for a fact he’s been there for 3 years. There’s no point in continuing to debate whether or not you think he was or should have been, he has been and he was for 3 years now. What I am currently having issues with is that they are trying to change it without grandfathering him in. If he wouldn’t have been allowed under the old rule then there wouldn’t have been a need to change the rule... they could have just started enforcing what was already there, but they are trying to change it because they have now realized that the language allowed for a loophole.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2751


06/26/2018 9:29 AM  
Katie

Do you live in a condo or detached home?
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


06/26/2018 12:08 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/26/2018 9:29 AM
Katie

Do you live in a condo or detached home?




Good question.

Katie. Read the thread again. Many have asked questions or directed your thinking away from what the R & R's said or what they're being changed to. Think more.... original governing documents, CC&R's and By-laws to determine if the R & R's can even include pet restrictions without a member voted amendment to the governing documents.

We can't read them and we are all from different states so we can't comment on specifics. You might consider spending the money to hire an HOA attorney to review. Be sure you don't use the HOA attorney. Best to keep it separate.



Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
KatieB1


Posts:0


06/26/2018 1:34 PM  
It is a condo
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2751


06/26/2018 2:49 PM  
Posted By KatieB1 on 06/26/2018 1:34 PM
It is a condo



You will have a tougher time with you living in a condo than having a detached residence. Who cares how big your dog is in your backyard. My mixed poodle will make considerable more noise than a Great Dane, but size can make a different in a condo. Was the Board right in changing the rules in the matter they did, no, but many condos will have size restrictions that a detached home complex won't.
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