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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Proposed Pets-in-Condos Legislation

From Maida Genser, godmother of the pets-in-condos cause:
Citizens for Pets in Condos would like these bills introduced in 2007:

Votes to reverse no-pet rules only require a simple majority vote of condominium unit owners. Unit owners may openly campaign for this rule change without repercussions, including posting signs and going door to door to other unit owners.

Details: Existing vote requirements and fear of reprisals do not allow positive change away from life-style and health restricting no-pet rules.

Condominium association boards must accept, without question or legal challenge, a letter from a duly licensed medical or mental health professional prescribing an emotional support animal. Animals used for this purpose, in private homes, do not require any specialized training.

Details: Abundant evidence exists that companion animals can reduce loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression and even blood pressure. Letters from psychiatrists, social workers or psychologist who do psychotherapy, cardiologists, and any licensed physician who prescribes tranquilizers, anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs should be accepted. Federal disability and fair housing law already make it absolutely clear that accommodations must be made for emotional/mental as well as physical disabilities.

Condominium association boards may not request removal of pets that have already been in place for at least two years as long as there are no unresolved nuisance complaints. A board cannot use no-pet rules to cause removal of the animal. Simply being there, against the rules, is not sufficient reason to remove an animal that has not been the cause of any mess or disturbance.

Details: If an animal has been present for two years and has caused no complaint, that is implicit acceptance.

New condominium complexes or conversions cannot have no-pet policies, only pet agreements. This would assure that responsible animal guardians can have pets and that people who don’t clean up after their dogs or otherwise allow their animals to create a nuisance are the only people who pay the price.

Details: Pet guidelines that specify rules regarding cleanup of animal waste, where pets may be walked, and other clear directives have been successful. Pets are not the problem. Owners who allow their pets to be a nuisance to others create the problem.

Condominiums are not allowed to add “poison pill” clauses to their pet-related declarations. If pets are allowed, they cannot add a clause that says that when pets die they cannot be replaced.

Details: People have a difficult time finding affordable places to live that allow pets. They agree to move in, even with a poison pill, just to be able to keep their beloved companion animals. The issue of pets being allowed keeps coming up as their animals pass away. A lot of grief could be avoided if pet laws were open-ended.

In the future, Citizens for Pets in Condos would like to see similar bills introduced for other types of common interest ownership communities. We would like to see a gradual shift towards punishment of irresponsible owners and removal of animals that cause continued nuisance complaints. Pet guidelines allow responsible people to experience the health benefits of companion animals.

For more information about this cause, click here.


Anonymous Kelly said...

12:57 PM  

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