What are my legal options if the townhome I am buying will not let me keep my emotional support pet even thoughI have a octor’s note?

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What are my legal options if the townhome I am buying will not let me keep my emotional support pet even thoughI have a octor’s note?

They grandfathered in the other owners pets over 25 lbs. when they changed this bylaw 2 months ago, so there are big dogs already living here. Can the HOA tell me what kind of dog I can have on my own property if he never leaves my house/yard? What can I do legally?

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Technically the HOA cannot tell you what to do regarding the animal that you are writing about since you are the tenant, but it can tell the property owner what he or she will have to do with respect to you and your emotional support pet.

The issue I see is although you have a doctor's excuse for this animal, it is recognized as a service animal under your state's laws like a seeing eye dog or a service dog. If so, then the HOA might have a harder time trying to enforce the weight restrictions concerning the animal you are writing about through the landlord.

Your legal options are to seek some sort of a variance of the HOA rules regarding your dog if that becomes an issue or terminate your lease with your landlord if you advised him or her about your animal before the lease was signed and the landlord failed to advise you of a change in the HOA's bylaws.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Technically the HOA cannot tell you what to do regarding the animal that you are writing about since you are the tenant, but it can tell the property owner what he or she will have to do with respect to you and your emotional support pet.

The issue I see is although you have a doctor's excuse for this animal, it is recognized as a service animal under your state's laws like a seeing eye dog or a service dog. If so, then the HOA might have a harder time trying to enforce the weight restrictions concerning the animal you are writing about through the landlord.

Your legal options are to seek some sort of a variance of the HOA rules regarding your dog if that becomes an issue or terminate your lease with your landlord if you advised him or her about your animal before the lease was signed and the landlord failed to advise you of a change in the HOA's bylaws.


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