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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pet Upset

I was having a great day off today -- cleaned the house, ran a whole bunch of errands, got some new books, etc -- then around 4 pm, I checked the mail and everything went to hell in a hand basket: Our condo association sent us a threatening letter saying we have to "remove" Scooter from our residence!

See, Scooter is an illegal resident in said condo because our association has a rule against pet residency, but it's a rule that is causally ignored by many (lots of other unit owners have either a dog or a cat), so when we got Scooter, we knew were in violation of the association's "law," but we didn't figure it would matter much. 2 years later and I guess we were wrong. Apparently, they're getting' tough and they decried that Scooter needs to vacant the premises by the end of the month.

Oh sweet Jesus.

Since I had checked the mail after 4 pm, and the association's office closes earlier than that, I sent them a strongly worded email and asked them to contact me or my husband in response to this letter. Essentially, we are willing to pay a fine, but are not willing to get rid of our dog -- Scooter is our family and we can't imagine not having him! But, until we get word back from the association, we just have to wait.

This is not good, especially for my husband (aka "the worrier"). Within an hour of discussing said letter, he was online looking at real estate, assessing how much we could sell our condo for and examining other properties in the area. Clearly, this is a "worst case" scenario, but that's the thought he had first (well, his real "worst case" meant that our condo would sell below market value and we'd have to live on the streets -- but I won't bother you with too many of those nightmare details that were first to spring to his mind).

In order to help ease his mind and distract him, I got him to go out to dinner with some friends and I. We enjoyed some Cajun cuisine and a few beers and that did seem to relax him some, but I can tell that he's not gonna sleep much tonight. Damn association. I missed my run to comfort the hubby and force a few beers down his throat; however, I think the missed run was worth it. We both needed to get out after that letter, and sometimes, there are more pressing issues besides running.

So, hopefully, the association emails or calls us back tomorrow. I hope they don't keep us in suspense over the weekend. If they do, my husband could have us in an entirely different state by then!

18 comments:

L*I*S*A said...

Ugh...that sucks. I hope they see the light. How can they ask people to remove a member of their family?!

Nikki said...

I have had to move because of a dog that was to "big" ...even though there was bigger dogs but from the shoulder mine was measured and information was looked up to see if his breed(boarder collie) was a small dog :p

Needless to say, it was an annoyomous "tip" that lead to our moving...I was not giving up my dog!!! PERIOD!!

Good luck with the HOA...they are tighty peeps!

J~mom said...

OH no. :>( Hoping for the best...darn HOA!!!

ws said...

condo boards suck. especially when they are run by irrational late middle aged Floridians enforcing rules just to fill some other void in their life...

sorry to hear about the Hubby's stress...the assoc office being closed is the kicker. Like getting a certified mail notice after the post office has closed.

GeekGirl said...

Hi Jess.

It's Cicely. I ran with you last Saturday. I just want to check to make sure that you guys are meeting tomorrow at 4:30. If so, I'll meet you guys there.

If not, let me know what time please. You can email me at cb@theadventuresofgeekgirl.com. Sorry to do this on your blog. I didn't see an email address.

Sorry about Scooter. HOAs suck.

Wes said...

Associations are a necessary evil :-( We need a "Pets are People Too!" bumper sticker! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys that this all works out to the good.

David said...

I'm wondering, if that many residents have pets, can the owners band together to get the charter ammended? Not a pet free-for-all, but allowance for maybe one pet of small to medium-small size. I hope there is a neat and rapid solution, though. HOAs seem to do nothing unless someone is complaining, so some neighbor is being a big crybaby.

Hands Off My Biscuits said...

People who don't like dogs SUCK!

(I'm okay with cat haters though...)

Marcy said...

David said...

I'm wondering, if that many residents have pets, can the owners band together to get the charter ammended? Not a pet free-for-all, but allowance for maybe one pet of small to medium-small size.

I was thinking the same also. I hope for the best chica!! Let us know what happens!

Krista said...

That's horrible! I hope they just let you pay a fine. If not, you and the other pet owners should get together and form a coup. AS IF, "get rid of your dog." People are ridiculous.

brunettechicagogal said...

It seems really strange that a homeOWNER is not permitted to have a pet. Condo association or not, seems like a violation of some civil right or the other. I'm sure there's some loophole they worked with. If worse comes to worst, maybe you can have Scooter stay with a friend temporarily while you weigh your options. That really sucks!

Margo said...

That's awful! There is no way that we would get rid our dog! Good luck. Hopefully all you pet owners can band together to get this stupid rule changed!

Running Jayhawk said...

I'm so sorry hun...

How air tight is the pet clause in your contract? You may want to have a lawyer look at it.

Also, I'd rally with all the other pet owners (who are likely in the same boat). If there's wiggle room, you can petition and fight for the rules to be grandfathered in.

*hugs* to you, your hubby and scooter!

Bonni Michelle said...

Running Jayhawk is right. My MIL had the same problem with her condo board on Ft Laud beach. She had a bird and they wanted it gone, but other owners in the building had pets so the board just said "ok, but no new pets". Although I think there was a loophole in the bylaws that allowed this.

Also, if Scooter has been there for a set period of time with the knowledge of the residents (I think it's a year, but I'm not sure) then he is allowed to stay because no one enforced it up until now. It's almost an allowance by omission.

Check the bylaws and see if there is anything in there, but the fact that there are other residents with pets makes your case stronger.

Sorry for the lengthy comment, but I dealt with condo commandos the entire time I lived in that area. I even wrote my mil's letters for her.

Good luck!

Paul said...

Not allowing a pet (small dog or cat) at the very least is totally un-american! Revolt! Or at least band together with other owners, chances are you are not the only ones with this plight.

Best wishes...and yes HOA's suck.

Firefly's Running said...

Oh man! That SUCKS! I hope that you could sway them to just fine you. How can they be so cruel?!

scott keeps running said...

WHAT!!! oh no they di'nt!

we're allowed one pet in our place - and have 2 dogs and 2 cats. now i'm nervous.

SAVE SCOOTER! SAVE SCOOTER! SAVE SCOOTER! (the campaign has begun)

Mendy said...

Bummer!!! I hope it all works out for the best for you and hubby, and Scooter. I would have reacted exactly the way your hubby did "We've got to move now".