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Our strict No-pet policy, right....Aug 01, 2012

My coop is in NJ. When I moved in 5 yrs ago it was made VERY clear in my admissions interview of the strict "no-pet" policy. I was thrilled, having just left an apartment building where my neighbors cat played in a hallway nxt to my bedroom, usually around 2am!

Unfortunately I have since seen someone on the first floor who sneaks his small 12-15 lb dog out the service elevator & side of building, where there are cameras. He used to put it in the baby carriage,then go for a walk. The building manager told him he was in violation, several SH having complained, but the owner threatened a lawsuit as he said we are allowing other pets and the building manager backed down. I was uncertain of another dog, which came onto the elevator with a young girl, and these suspicions have been confirmed as well. I do know that people have walked away from buying, having been told about our policy.

Now, I'm on the board and we have a possible new sale of a PH unit that has been on the market for some time. The new buyer says he has an old golden retriever that is probably in it's last year. I"m sorry, but we have a policy in place and like others before him, he should make arrangements for the final days of his beloved pet to live with other family. Needless to say, as a former pet owner, older dogs in their final days, tend to have accidents.

We polled the maintenance staff and they say they know of 12 cats in our 150 unit building. This is going to be a conversation in the next board meeting, but I'm 100% against this new buyer with the pet and feel we should take action against the other owners now. There are at least two SH, who gave up pets to live in our building and it isn't fair to them and that is why we have rules.

Anyone know if that 90 day rule exits in NJ if pets are known and not addressed? It is apparent that our building has been lax.

How would you handle this? I'm not afraid of sending letters to each SH and reminding them of the strict policy and then penalizing them if we can, ie instituting a fine for each month they do nothing about the pet.

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No-Pet Policy - Pet Lover Aug 03, 2012

The 90 day rule does exist. Also, if there are cats in the building then it is not a No-Pet building. It's unfair to allow cats and say No-Pets. This can be fought but if the pet is there over 90 days it becomes quite difficult. I myself am a Pet Lover and feel they do add to ones life. Good luck with this issue.

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NO PETS POLICY - Peg Meerkatz Aug 04, 2012

It IS NOT only the 90 day rule that you MUST adhere to. Before TRYING to institute any action against a pet owner make certain that the dogs ARE PETS. UNDER FEDERAL LAW ALL SERVICE DOGS and SOME EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS ARE NOT PETS. They are NECESSARY for the persons livelihood. I faced this issue when I lived in NJ and moreso living in NY. I have a small dog that IS TRAINED as a DIABETIC ALERT SERVICE DOG. I presently live in a condo with my mother & in November I was sent a letter by the building manager stating that ALL DOG OWNERS would have to pay $100 A YEAR to keep their dogs & also provide DOCUMENTATION. Again according to the Americans with Disabilities Act THE BUILDING CANNOT CHARGE ME TO KEEP MY SERVICE DOG HERE. I also DO NOT have to provide documentation. FYI: There is NO SUCH THING as CERTIFICATION for Service Dogs in NY or NJ & many other states. Under the ADA Service Dogs DO NOT even have to wear vests or anything identifying them. If there is a question regarding whether or not a dog is a Service Dog BY LAW you can only ask 2 questions:

1) Is the dog necessary to assist you with a medical or psychiatric condition?

2) What duties is the dog trained to perform?

In response to the second question in the case of someone that has a Diabetic Alert Service dog an answer of "the dog alerts me to a medical conditon" is a sufficent answer. A Service Dog handler is protected from revealing ANYTHING that would reveal the exact nature of their medical or psychiatric problem.

Before taking ANY ACTION against ANYONE it would behoove you to go to Google (or use another search engine) AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT SERVICE DOGS. You will find a wealth of information & learn what you can & cannot do. This VALUABLE INFORMATION can protect you from possibly being sued later.

Peg Meerkatz
Disability Advocate, President
EsperanzaEnterprises

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No Pets Policy - Pet Lover Aug 04, 2012

I agree with Peg Meerkatz. Also please note, that if this is a Senior, many have pets not only for Emotional Support, but Companion Support, courts generally rule with that in mind. Kudos to you Peg for bringing this up. Pets do become a family member. One of your concerns were dogs having accidents, understandable, you wouldn't give a human up because they were old and frail. There should be a little more compassion, these pets are as important as a child to many people.

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No Pets Policy - Pet Lover - Anonymous Aug 05, 2012

If one is feeling no compassion, and one is in a no-pets building, perhaps one should move somewhere else. Insisting on having a companion animal -- i.e. a pet -- in a no-pet building is unconscionably selfish. It completely discounts the reasons why people want to live in a no-pet (or no-dog) building, and says to them, "My reason is better than yours." You have a psychological condition you think requires a companion dog? Others have a psychological or health conditions that precludes being around dogs that could jump up or snap at them, create allergy and dander issues, create disgusting smells, etc. Your psychological condition doesn't trump anyone else's. No one's disputing seeing-eye dogs. But now everyone who wants a pet is abusing a legal loophole and saying, "Oh, I want a dog, I'll claim I'm depressed and just have my doctor write a note saying whatever I tell him to." Thanks a lot.

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Policy - Efy Aug 07, 2012

What Exactly does the policy state? Many times verbal policies are passed down like the telephone game . They often are not what the written policy states. Our policy is in the house rules. It is nothing like the verbal policy that people and board members,management company state.
Most people in my building do not know how to read. Written policy rules.

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are you serious? - anon Jan 10, 2014

This is the most ignorant thing I have ever heard...ever.

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Response to "are you serious?" - JB Jan 12, 2014

No, YOURS is the most ignorant comment. Habitat did a whole article on this very subject, of selfish scammers who use fake "certifications" and otherwise corrupt the system so they can have pets in no-pet buildings.

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ADA does not apply - JB Aug 05, 2012

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply to private residences. It applies to public and semipublic (hotels, restaurants) spaces. The Fair Housing Law applies. But not ADA.

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thank you for the great info! - patricia Aug 04, 2012

Thank you everyone for the great info. So NJ does indeed have the 90 day rule. Can anyone give me the specific law # so that I can reference it. I have not had luck finding it online, but will continue my search. I see the NY law was clearly mentioned in a few other postings.

Yes, there is at least one therapy/medically advised pet for a woman with cancer and I've advise the board she should just provide us with a letter from her doctor that he recommended her getting a pet.

Thank you, we will look into the emotional support animals as well as some of the very elderly in my building may have them for that reason. The other pets are mostly cats and the kitty litter down the trash shoot is really a problem.

We are not trying to prevent service dogs.

We still plan on maintaining our "pet free" status.

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Pets and Service/Emotional Support Animals in No Pet Co-ops - megan2 Aug 05, 2012

All the comments and advise in response to your concerns are spot on, but that does not allow ESA and service animals to become nuisances or destroy other neighbors peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their homes. If any of these animals bark incessantly, have accidents that are left in the public spaces, pose a threat to residents and guests, or cause an apartment to smell so bad it the odors migrate into the public spaces or adjacent apartments, Boards have the right to pursue remedies for removal of animals because they are breaking other house rules on issues of quality of life and, in some cases, health department issues. Train your service dogs and ESAs so they are not disturbing your neighbors!

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