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Lawmoe
Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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I live in a condo community that bans the ownership of bull

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I live in a condo community that bans the ownership of bull terrier breed dogs, however i have seen multiple residents with these dogs on premise. I have found a mix breed but predominantly bull terrier i would like to adopt with a nice disposition. If I bring this dog into my home and the HOA tries to expel the dog, may I claim discrimination against myself or the dog? or will i lose immediately because of the breed of the dog even though other owners have one? Thankyou
-Jason

First, the Association is like a small city government.. It has the power to make and enforce rules consistent with its bylaws. It can ban dogs of a certain size. It can ban dogs of a certain breed. It can make a rule that openly a certain number of residences may have dogs on a first come first serve basis. As a result, it would be an enormous mistake to take ownership of a dog where you can be required to remove the dog or be subjected to daily fines. Because you see other, similar dogs, does not mean that the Association is aware of them or that the dogs are not owned by visitors or many other possible permutations. In short, if you act before you verify, you are headed for a great deal of trouble.

 

Second, even if the Association is acting inconsistently, your remedy is a lawsuit that would likely be very expensive, and none too simple. It is not discrimination unless they are treating you differently based on a suspect classification that is protected under statute such as race, creed, color etc.. Being a dog owner or a dog owner of a certain type is not a protected class under statute. As a result, your only claim is that the Association is not enforcing its own rules which likely means that they will and all dogs are banned.

 

I do not see this as a winning choice for you. Your remedy is to bring the inconsistency to the Board of Directors and ask them to modify the prohibition.

 

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