Make Sure Your Clients Give Proper Notice When Attempting to Remove a Tenant’s Dog

A Connecticut condo association board tried to force the removal of a dog after holding multiple hearings and concluding it was vicious (Copper Square Ass’n, Inc. v. Bonell). But a court found the board dropped the ball and denied to order removal.

The case involved a dog named Bo, who lived with a tenant in a condo. The association filed a lawsuit against the tenant and her landlord, alleging Bo had acted aggressively on a number of occasions, resulting in board hearings and orders to muzzle and control the dog in common areas. The association asked the court to order the defendant to remove the dog.

The incidents with the dog began in June 2018, when an owner complained that Bo had attacked the owner’s son. But the owner didn’t complain to the association until seven months later. The association, through its manager, then notified the landlord of a February 2019 hearing about the June incident. Neither the landlord nor the tenant attended.

The next month, the association notified the landlord of the hearing results. The board assessed a fine and required that, when outside the unit, Bo must be leashed and accompanied by an individual in full control of the dog.

Between the hearing and the notice of the hearing results, another incident allegedly occurred. Due to the timing, neither the landlord nor the tenant had been notified of the first hearing or the new rules. A second hearing resulted in the requirement that the dog be muzzled.

The tenant was never notified of any board complaint, hearing, or findings and orders until she received notice of a Zoom hearing for Nov. 1, 2021. That meeting was to address a complaint that Bo had bit a worker on association property. (In fact, she only learned of that meeting because, for COVID reasons, notice was provided to everyone in the community.)

Read the full article to learn what missteps your association clients should avoid when attempting to remove a tenant’s dog — or other animal — from the community: Lack of Notice Comes Back to Bite Association in Removal of Tenant’s Dog

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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