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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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We own a townhouse style condo in a small complex (2 story

Customer Question

We own a townhouse style condo in a small complex (2 story shared wall on each side only. HOA has a rule saying you cannot leave pets (in particular, dogs) on your patio or garage unattended and they have to be leashed on your patio. The garages are private, locked and part of each individual condo. We have a fully fenced and locked patio yet Re accused of breaking the rules by allowing our dachshunds to use a doggy door to go out on patio. We feel the HOA is infringing on our right to enjoy all of our personal space. Does the HOA have the right to impose a rule like this?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: No. We were written up in minutes of monthly HOA meeting for being in violation of rule and subject to $250 fine
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They are implying our garage and patio are common areas
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 1 month ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. This appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing. Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward the other can result in a breach of contract. In this case, you could argue that the intent of the parties was not to entirely prevent dogs from being on the patio. The idea was to prevent animals of all kinds from not being controlled by their owners and ruining the quiet enjoyment of everyone else. If your dog doesn’t bark, cause a mess, threaten other animals, then you could argue that they are not behaving in good faith with you. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If you send this letter and they do not respond, then you may want to consider bringing a lawsuit after that because it will be clear they will not be willing to settle the issue.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.