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Real estate Q&A: How do I make HOA keep neighbors' emotional support animals' fur out of my laundry?

Gary M. Singer, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Business News

Q: Our condo association recently allowed several residents to have emotional support animals, supposedly with proper vetting of the paperwork. I am very allergic to animal fur, and I will be sharing our floor’s laundry facilities with the animal owners. Is there anything I can do to prevent them from using the laundry facility, so I don’t have fur in my laundry? — Rose

A: No, not unless they abuse the laundry privileges and act unreasonably.

Community associations must make reasonable accommodations for residents with emotional support animals. These animals are not pets. They are companions with proven therapeutic benefits for people with verifiable psychiatric or mental disabilities.

While some people have abused the laws designed to protect people with disabilities, most emotional support animals serve a genuine therapeutic purpose for people who benefit from the support.

It can be inconvenient for the neighbors dealing with having animals in a no-pet community, but so are walkers for people with limited mobility.

Being a good neighbor takes understanding that different people have different needs that need to be accommodated. At the same time, this works both ways.

 

The residents with the support animals also need to make sure they are well-behaved and do not interfere with the other residents’ enjoyment of the community more than necessary. Residents with disabilities do not get more rights than their neighbors.

All residents must be treated fairly, with everyone’s individual needs balanced. Your condo’s accommodations for residents with disabilities must be reasonable and consider everyone’s interests.

Just like your condo accommodated your neighbors, it should also accommodate your needs. For example, it might allow you to use a different floor’s laundry room or designate a specific machine for those with animals so residents with allergies do not suffer.

While all parties might have to make a little extra effort, I am sure that well-intentioned neighbors can work this out so that you do not suffer from allergies caused by your neighbors’ support animals.

©2022 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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