Is Your Condo Board Responsible for Pest Infestations?

pest infestationWhen you get an email or a phone call from a condo owner who is upset about a pest problem, what do you do? Is the condo board responsible for handling the problem? Or is pet control something that condo owners need to handle on their own? Whether they are dealing with roaches, snakes, mice, rats or any other type of household pest, the problem is one that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further infestation.

Are Condo Boards Responsible for Pest Infestations?

Generally speaking, individual condo owners are responsible for pest control within their own space, and the board is responsible for pest control in common areas. Unfortunately, these types of nuisances often do not confine themselves to one area, and there’s where the line determining who is responsible becomes blurred.

Pests can be extremely difficult to eliminate, and an infestation that originates in an individual unit can quickly spill into common areas and other units. This probably is especially common in condominiums where many people live in close proximity.

How to Handle Pest Infestations

When dealing with pest infestations, it is best if both the condo owner and the board exercise goodwill and common sense. The sooner the problem is dealt with, the better it is for everyone who is involved. In situations where an infestation occurs as the direct result of an owner’s actions, it is reasonable for the board to require that individual person to cover all costs associated with getting rid of the pests.

Infestations that impact both common areas and individual units need to be dealt with in a coordinated manner, so it’s always best to work closely with the owners of any involved units.

Check your association’s CC&Rs. There may already be information regarding how your association will handle pest infestations. If not, check local laws to determine the best way to handle the situation.

Pest infestations are a common problem, especially in warm climates. Unwanted guests are often difficult to get rid of, so it’s a good idea to have pest control plans in place to prevent or eliminate future infestations. Your condominium manager can help you develop and implement these plans. Contact AMI to learn more.

emotional support animal in florida condoWhile service animals have long been recognized and protected as vital assistants for disabled people, the rise of emotional support animals has caused many concerns for condominium associations. Service animals and their owners are afforded certain rights under the law. While this is also true for emotional support animals, there are some differences. For condominium boards, it can be difficult to understand whether they are allowed to enforce “no pet” policies in situations involving emotional support animals.

Do Condominium Associations Have to Allow Emotional Support Animals?

The Fair Housing Act, which was established in 1968, is designed to prevent housing authorities from discriminating against people based on color, race, religion, or country of origin. In 1988, the Act was updated to include protection for people with disabilities. Under this act, communities cannot discriminate against residents who have been prescribed a service animal or emotional support animal. The law supersedes all condominium rules and regulations, including restrictions on what types and sizes of animals are allowed.

There Are a Few Exceptions

While condominium associations are generally required to make accommodations for emotional support animals, there are a few exceptions. Associations are allowed to create fair rules by which the emotional support animal and its owner must abide. It’s perfectly acceptable, for example, to implement rules stating that a dog needs to be kept on a leash and all messes must be cleaned up. If the animal or its owner disobeys the rules, the association as the right to ask the owner to remove it.

In addition, the condo board can also ask for proof of whether an animal is a legitimate emotional support animal. While emotional support animals do not require special training or certification, the owner should have a prescription from their doctor or therapist. Without some sort of documentation, you are not required to allow the animal if you have a “no pets” policy.

While there are exceptions, the protection for emotional service animals under the Fair Housing Act supersedes all condominium rules and regulations. In most cases, condo boards must make reasonable accommodations for both the resident and the tenant. At AMI, we are well-versed in the laws regarding emotional support and service animals. If you have any questions, we can help. Contact us today for additional information.


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