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January 16. 2014 10:58PM

Real Estate Corner: Owner may have to get rid of pooch

QUESTION: Several years ago, my building changed the rules and stopped allowing pets. Because I had my dog back then, I was grandfathered in and allowed to keep it. After it died, I got a new puppy to help me deal with my grief. Once the association found out, I started receiving violations and fines. I tried explaining to the manager that I was grandfathered in but was told that this only applied to my old pet. What can I do?

— Dana

ANSWER: You may have to find a new home for the puppy, but there is one option you should try first.

As with any issue regarding community associations, review the governing documents and state law to be certain. And the rules can vary slightly depending on whether you have a condominium or homeowner’s association. When a community association decides to change a major rule, it will agree to allow existing unit owners that would be in violation of the new rule to be exempt.

For example, a condo that bans renters might allow an existing landlord to finish the lease with his tenant, but not allow a renewal of the lease or a new tenant. When your dog passed away, your grandfathered status ended and, just like your neighbors, you are not allowed to get a new pet.

But consider this: Because the dog is helping you deal with grief, look into the possibility of having your doctor certify that your pet is necessary for emotional reasons. Pet restrictions do not apply to service animals or therapy dogs.


Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. Send him questions online at http://sunsent.nl/mR20t7 or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

Real Estate

The former Chester College property has been sold.

Chester College property sold for $1.53m ; boarding school to open

The coveted People's Choice is voted on each year by Parade of Homes attendees. Last year's People Choice Winner was this open concept 6,027-square-foot Adirondack Style home built by Hayward & Company. Visitors couldn't get enough of this house with its spacious kitchen/dining room with lake views, three bedrooms, plus unique bunkroom with four queen sized beds, six baths, a loft and great room with a gorgeous stone fireplace. Parade goers have fun selecting their favorite homes every year and take it very seriously, taking notes and talking with the builders and sub-contractors. After visitors view their last home on the tour, they make their selection of their “Favorite” home and place the ballot/ticket in the box and enter to win some great prizes!

Lakes Region Fall Parade of Homes set for Columbus Day weekend

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The former Manchester police station at 351 Chestnut St. will soon house a storage facility and a church.

Church to move into part of old police station

Town meeting focuses on lease of land for elderly housing

Home & Garden

Beans are popular among seed savers. When their pods are yellow and dry and the beans rattle inside, it's time to collect and dry them.

Saving seed: At harvest time, you'll have more than memories of a great garden


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Susan Dromey Heeter's Down to Earth: A harvest of lessons for kids – and, maybe, candidates


Relishing the last of the garden's bounty

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Foraging for mushrooms has a growing following


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Lilac photo winners announced


The Governor's Lilac & Wildflower Commission has announced the winners of the 19th annual Lilac Photo Contest.

A bench in memory of Katie Bentley.

Hotel and lilacs proposed for Hackett Hill site


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