Monday, August 7, 2006
Help Me Howard: Dog in Cart
If you watch the news you know there are some serious stories and then there is this one that just may leave you howling. It's a condo complex that allows dogs but forces the owners to carry the dogs. That's right, there feet cannot touch the floor. It may be silly but is it legal. Look at these pictures and get the answer from Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN--Maggie is 9 years old, a happy healthy dog.
Nicole Navarre: "Oh she is a wonderful dog. She is very calm and friendly. Best dog you could ask for actually."
And when Nicole brags that Maggie is calm, she is not exaggerating.
Patrick Fraser: "Have you told any of your friends about this?"
Nicole Navarre: "Yeah, and what do they do? They all laugh and say it's ridiculous."
Why does everyone snicker? You watch this and try to keep a straight face.
Nicole Navarre: "The only good thing is that she is good."
That's right, Maggie is forced to ride through a condo on a cart.
Because the Collins Condiminium Association on Miami Beach, doesn't want dogs walking.
Nicole Navarre: "Got a phone call from the management in the bulding who told us we were in violation of the rule that stated that we must now carry the dog."
As punishment for not carrying Maggie, Nicole was fined; fined for a rule passed after she moved in.
Nicole Navarre: "We are not in violation of the rules we signed for the building, nor in violation of the lease."
Now of course Nicole can't carry Maggie, who is a nice firm 90 pounds.
Patrick Fraser: "I take it, you can't carry a 90-pound dog?"
Nicole Navarre: "No, I cannot."
So the management company gave Nicole an option.
Nicole Navarre: "To comply we must buy a cart to transport her in and out."
And so three times a day she does.
Down the hall, to the service elevator -- she cannot ride on main elevators -- and finally out a side door near the garage.
Many other tenants have dog. Nicole says they don't have to carry them because they are owners and she is a renter.
Nicole Navarre: "I have several friends who are dog owners in the building and management knows they walk their dogs thru common areas and they have not received any fines."
Tired of the so-called selective enforcement, Nicole asked her landlord to let her out of the lease. He refused -- now she is hoping the board will quit trying to enforce a rule passed after she moved in.
Nicole Navarre: "Its a very stressful situation for me to be in because I just feel like we are being watched and targeted."
Howard, legally a board allow maggie in then force nicole to carry or cart her?
Howard Finkelstein: "As complicated as the boards and their lawyer want to make it, this is simple: they cannot force Nicole to carry or cart her dog down a hallway because it was not in the condo documents nor was it in the rules she signed. And finally, trying to force someone to carry a 90-pound dog is just not reasonable."
When we spoke to the Collins Condominium attorney she told us....the board does not partake in selective enforcement
She also claimed every tenant moves in with the full knowledge they would have to carry their pets to the service elevator and through the garage.
We pointed out the rules and regulations signed by nicole did not mention that...And it didnt matter ...That while their rules say you have to carry the dog in the service elevator and garage..it does not stop nicole from walking maggie down a hallway and out the stairs.
The condo lawyer did not respond to that and instead told us.---given the concerns raised by wsvn's research, the collins condominium association will take up the issue at their next meeting.
In the meantime nicole says the landlord was apparently pressured to let her out of her lease...
She says she will move out..and in the meantime..just wants to be left alone...
"I just want to be able to take her downstairs and let go for a walk without that rental truck, without the U-Haul."
Patrick Fraser: "That dog is amazing. No way my dog would sit in that cart. If you are getting ready to buy a condo or rent one make sure you read both the rules and their documents. If board violates them, don't ignore letters from the association; file a written response and demand a hearing to get it straightened out."
Carting a problem that is about to roll you over? Carry it over to us, we like the serious ones and the silly ones.
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