Issues over condo pets come up often
Question: We bought a condo two years ago; it is pet-friendly with no limit on the number of pets. We have six cats. The condo association wants to change the house rules to limit the number of pets to just two. What are my rights: 1) in regards to grandfathering, is it mandatory they have to offer this? 2), if yes, should a cat die (or have to be put to sleep), will I be restricted from replacing that cat until I reach the limit of two, or will I have the right to keep six as I had before the new rules? and 3) there are no complaints in regards to my pets, but there is a renter who has two golden retrievers, and they tried to have the owner notify the tenant that the pets did not meet the house rules, which state the pet must be able to be carried. No luck, the owner stuck to his rights in regards to the existing house rules.
Answer: According to Cynthia Thomas, Legal Aid's fair-housing project manager: This is not really a fair-housing issue unless these are support/comfort cats. Nonetheless, this issue comes up frequently, and you should check your bylaws. Generally, it's up to the condo association to implement the rules and guidelines regarding grandfathering. Some condo associations allow owners to replace an animal that has been grandfathered under previously existing rules. Others do not. You should work with your board to determine how the new pet rule will be implemented. As an owner, you are a member of the association with voting rights; use your voice to make sure your concerns are addressed. Keep in mind that majority rules in condo law. Remember, if these are service animals or animals necessary for persons with disabilities, a pet policy will not generally apply.
Q: I heard that Legal Aid doesn't help Micronesians. Is that true?
A: Until recently, Legal Aid was barred by the Legal Services Corp. from serving Micronesians. But thanks to advocacy efforts, LSC recently overturned that rule. Legal Aids around the country, including the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, will be allowed to serve Micronesians by the end of October.
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