Q. There is a large dog in our condominium building, but there is no size restriction in our condominium documents. The dog has been seen off leash, but the main problem is loud barking at all hours of the day. The property manager has warned the resident who owns the dog, but the problems continue. What is the most effective way to stop these problems?
A. Assuming that your property manager has made the unit owner aware of the problem, the next step is a letter from your association’s attorney advising that the owner and tenant will be fined and that the dog will be removed if the nuisance does continue. In the interim, your property manager should be logging the dates of the violations and gathering the necessary data and evidence in the event that a lawsuit is required to remove the dog. Whether the dog’s barking is a nuisance that will be recognized and penalized by a court of law can be a matter of opinion, so your association should be prepared with multiple witnesses and even an audio recording of the barking if possible. The association can impose fines and suspend common amenities due to violations of the condominium documents, but the most effective method of removing this type of nuisance from the building is a lawsuit for removal of the nuisance animal, which will result in recovery of the association’s legal expenses if it wins the lawsuit.