Can the Board Charge a Fee for Having a Pet?
I was asked recently if the Board may charge a fee to pet owners to offset the increased costs associated with cleaning up after a pet. Unfortunately, to charge a fee to an owner simply because the owner has a pet would be discrimination not permitted under the Ohio condominium statute. All owners must be treated the same. To simply charge all pet owners for the failures of the few would not be permitted under Ohio law. However, to the extent that you can identify the offending pet owner, that pet owner can be charged with enforcement assessments for violation of the pet rules. Some associations are requiring DNA testing of all dogs so that pet droppings can be identified and the offenders located. That may be the best solution to this problem.
Charles T. Williams
Charles T. Williams (retired) is the firm’s founder. A native of Columbus, Ohio, and a veteran of the Vietnam war, Mr. Williams earned his law degree from Boston College Law School. During his years of providing legal counsel, he was widely recognized as one of Ohio’s foremost attorneys to practice homeowner association law and condominium law.