Co-op tries to take away little old lady's nice dog for no apparent reason
By Teri Karush Rogers |November 22, 2010 - 9:34AM
Over on Habitat Magazine's BoardTalk forum, a board member inadvertently confirms everyone's worst fears about co-op boards: "We sent a notice to cure to an elderly shareholder demanding she get rid of her small non-nuisance causing dog," the board member writes. "She had the dog for many years, everyone knows it, but we decided to try to get her to do it anyway. She also has letters from doctors stating dog is emotional support animal. We decided to drop the legal action but now she wants us to pay her legal bills. Do we have to do that? She's threatening us with a harassment suit if we don't because we have other pets in the building. I think we should pay it -- especially in light of the ruling last week in favor of the sharehlder in a Queens condo also over a pet--the Board in that building has to pay 100k in legal fees as well as the defendant's costs. Boy, did we learn a lesson. Any thoughts?"
There were plenty of thoughts--reassuringly, they were mostly along these lines: "Words fail me as to the stupidity and incompetency of this board. The board member who suggested this action should immediately resign. This is yet another example of boards overreaching their power to harm people they don’t like. I hope the owner sues the hell out of you personally."
Update 11/23: The original board member has posted a mea culpa: "Well I guess my Board gets the gaff of the century award for this one. [The attempt to remove the dog] was instigated by the Board President. It's a partially sponsor-owned building and there are some rent protected tenants who have long term esa [emotional support animal] pets and I think Prez was trying to set the tone for making the sponsor remove his tenant's pets. I heard the sponsor did something similar to some of his stabiziled renters but that was probably in a move to try and get the units back. I think the renters are demanding legal fees back too."
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