We are committed to sharing our legal knowledge to help others. We do so by offering State-approved educational resources in various forms, including more than two dozen courses, conferences, panel discussions, personal meetings, and webinars that you can conveniently attend from your office or home. With this many available options, it is easy for your… Continue Reading
Question: We recently received an application from a prospective tenant who is a “service dog handler”. He trains dogs for disabled people. Our condominium documents prohibit tenants from keeping pets. Must we allow him to keep and train dogs while living in the community? N.M. (via e-mail) Answer: Disabled individuals are afforded certain rights and… Continue Reading
We often receive inquiries about the Americans’ with Disabilities Act (ADA) vs. the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The ADA is the federal law that allows disabled persons to have a service animal. The ADA applies to places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and other businesses or facilities which invite the public or permit public… Continue Reading
Question: If the restrictive covenants of a H.O.A. in Florida allow for “traditional” household pets to be kept (dogs, for instance)—provided that they are not kept for commercial purposes—does the Association Board of Directors have the authority to adopt rules limiting the NUMBER of dogs kept on a particular property? – R.W. Answer: If the… Continue Reading
I am going to preface this blog post by stating that there are individuals who struggle with emotional disabilities and who can legitimately benefit from the use of an emotional support animal. However, this blog post is not about those people. Unfortunately, those of us who live in shared ownership communities, serve on their boards… Continue Reading
Question: I am a tenant in a community with a homeowners’ association. The association’s recorded documents say that each home may have no more than two dogs. There are no additional restrictions on size or breed of the two dogs found in the recorded documents. However, the lease application I was asked to complete asks… Continue Reading
Question: Our condominium building has two guest suites that can be rented by an owner for use by the owner’s overnight guests. Our declaration limits pets to 35 pounds in owners’ units and prohibits animals in the guest suites. We recently had a situation where a guest wanted to bring an emotional support animal into… Continue Reading
Community Association attorney and blogger Donna DiMaggio Berger will be the featured guest on WLRN radio show, Topical Currents at 1 pm, Tuesday December 2, 2014. Donna will be discussing topics that can affect all types of community associations including emotional support and service animal requests, rental and sale restrictions, 55+ communities, material alterations and… Continue Reading
There has been press about a case pending in Miami-Dade County over whether an owner is entitled to keep a dog in his unit as a reasonable accommodation for his disability. Issues concerning service and emotional support animals are highly charged and can result in significant liability for an association. As we have discussed in… Continue Reading
On Tuesday, June 14th, 2014, Topical Currents was an “At Your Service” edition, with community association attorney, Donna Berger. After returning to the law firm Becker & Poliakoff, she has been working to create new initiatives for community associations as well as addressing service animals and emotional-support animal requests in communities. Click here to listen to… Continue Reading
As week 6 comes to an end, everyone is looking forward to a “mini-break” in the action next week. The House and Senate have decided not to meet next week because of the Passover and Easter holidays. However, we all know that it’s not really a break and there will be much strategizing and behind… Continue Reading
I am excited to tell you about new developments on two of the bills that CALL is tracking and actively working on during this legislative session. First, HB 807, by Rep. Moraitis, will be amended to include language to overrule the Aventura Management, LLC v. Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association case which was discussed in a… Continue Reading
Is your HOA or condo board seeing more and more requests for exceptions to your pet rules? What about requests for specific parking spots or deviations from your architectural rules? Afraid saying no to any request will trigger a costly and stressful discrimination complaint against your HOA? Take charge of the process for handling requests… Continue Reading
Question: We live in a villa home. Our community has a private golf course and similar recreational facilities. Our local association has a “no pet rule.” We are told that the ADA requires us to permit pets even if we have a rule to the contrary. This does not make sense to me. Can you… Continue Reading
Fair Housing accommodation cases receive a lot of press. It seems like there are more and more cases all the time, most of which are resolved at the investigative/agency level than actually filed in court or go to trial. HUD issued a memorandum reminding housing providers of their obligations pursuant to the federal laws with… Continue Reading
A condominium association and its management company paid $20,000 to settle an emotional support animal accommodation case.
HUD charges another condominium association with discrimination as a result of its policies (and practices) related to service or accommodation animals.
The case against a condo association in Century Village reported by the Sun-Sentinel prompted me to alert readers of the consequences associated with violations of state and federal fair housing laws. If you aren’t familiar with the case click HERE for the most recent article. In short, Broward County filed a lawsuit against the condominium association for discrimination and… Continue Reading
Which Controls – the ADA or FHAA? The ADA prohibits discrimination by private entities such as hotels, motels, inns, and other “places of public accommodation.” Discrimination under the ADA includes the failure to remove architectural and communication barriers that are structural in nature in existing facilities where such removal is readily achievable. Title III of the… Continue Reading
The Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in any activities relating to the sale or rental of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. The term “familial status” is defined as one or more individuals (who have not yet attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with a… Continue Reading
Federal Court Rules in Favor of Condominium Association in Pet Accommodation/Disability Claim.
Pet or Service Animal – How does a Community Association Decide? Ruling from a Federal District Court Allows Community Associations to Request Additional Information.
Condominium rules that ban or limit the size of dogs, cats and other household pets are controversial.