Can an HOA require me to remove my dog based on accuasions of aggression?

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Can an HOA require me to remove my dog based on accuasions of aggression?

My HOA has given me until the day after tomorrow to get rid of my dog. Someone is saying that she has been aggressive, which is not true. I have never been told details of incidence or been told who is making the accusations. I have only heard rumors that the president of the HOA is saying thay my dog chased her into the laundry room. They gave me a date to meet with them and I told them I was unavailable to attend. Instead of rescheduling me-I recieved a letter from their lawyers saying she needs to go or else I will be fined. Can they do that?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The HOA may only take whatever actions the agreements governing it and giving it authority/power authorize, so there must be some basis for  the HOA to fine someone for an aggressive animal. If there is nothing granting it this power, then they should not be able to do it. So the first thing to do is to review the HOA agreements, to see what it can and cannot do.

If the HOA goes ahead with a fine, if you disagree with its determination--that is, you believe that it either exceeded its power, or that the facts of the situation do not warrant the fine--you could bring a legal action in which you would seek a court declaration (declaratory judgment) of what the HOA can do in this case, and a court order (injunction) barring it from imposing the fine; in cases of egregious bad conduct by the HOA, you may be able to recover legal fees or other compensation as well.


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