How to Respond to HOA Violation Letter for ADA Service Dog

HOA Fines and Complaints How to Respond to HOA Violation Letter for ADA Service Dog

How to Respond to HOA Violation Letter for ADA Service Dog

If you live in a complex that is part of a Homeowner Association, you are subject to the rules and regulations established by that organization, whether you like it or not. The association often has rules regarding pets—specifically service animals. So if you received a violation letter from your HOA for your service dog and are wondering how to respond to it, contact DoNotPay.

We understand your rights and the fact that as an individual with a disability, it can be crucial when dealing with HOA restrictions on service animals. Read on to learn more about what you can do and how DoNotPay can help you if you receive a letter from your HOA regarding your service dog.

What Are Your Rights When It Comes to Service Animals?

Before you do anything, ensure you know the HOA rules regarding service animals. While each state has laws about what is and is not allowed, some commonalities apply in most situations.

  1. You have the right to have a service animal in your home or apartment regardless of whether your state has a service animal law or not. However, you must be able to prove that your service animal is a legitimate medical necessity.
  2. You should be able to show that the presence of your service animal is reasonable and necessary, given your disability. It's your responsibility to ensure your service animal is well-behaved.
  3. You are also responsible for your service animal if it injures someone or damages property. You will face disciplinary action by the HOA and fines from your landlord if your service animal causes harm to others.

Read on to know more about how DoNotPay can help you during these difficult times.

Can You Send a Letter to Your HOA Requesting an Accommodation for Your Service Dog?

Yes, you can send a letter requesting an exception to the rule preventing you from having a service animal in your home. Be sure to include the following information in your letter: 

  • Your name and the name of your landlord
  • The address of your home or apartment
  • Your disability and how a service animal helps you
  • A detailed explanation of why your service animal is necessary
  • How having your service animal will not be a threat to anyone or anything.
  • A request for an exception to the rule

If the board or landlord responds by asking you to send proof that you have a disability, send them a copy of your official diagnosis and your doctor's recommendation for having a service animal.

How to Negotiate With Your HOA About the Violation Letter for Your Service Dog

If your initial letter to your landlord or board doesn't get the results you want, you might want to try mediation. If you go to mediation with the HOA, try to be flexible. The board might ask you to agree to certain conditions, such as keeping your service dog in a particular room or keeping your service dog created when there are guests. If you agree to these things and make some compromises, you can probably reach a deal with the board. If you can't agree with the board, you can always try other resolving channels.

Where Can You File a Complaint Against Your HOA for the Violation Letter? 

You can always file a complaint in these two places.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-If you are sure you want to fight the HOA and don't want to go to mediation, you can file a grievance with HUD in your state.

-The HUD is the agency that enforces the Fair Housing Act. HUD will investigate your complaint and decide whether the HOA violated your resident rights.

-If HUD rules in your favor, the agency can order the HOA to stop discriminating against you and call the HOA to give back any money you have spent fighting the discrimination.

Court of Law-If all else fails, you can file a lawsuit against the HOA for discrimination. You will have to prove the HOA is responsible for discriminating against you and that the discrimination violates the Fair Housing Act.

-If you win the lawsuit, the judge will issue an order requiring the HOA to stop discriminating against you and order the HOA to give you any cash you have expended on fighting the discrimination.

-If you have a strong case, you get a jury to rule in your favor and award you money in addition to an order that the HOA stop violating you.

File an Appeal for a Fine or Violation Letter from Your HOA for Your Service Dog

Whether you have a service dog, emotional support dog, or therapy dog, it's essential to know the rules of your area. The rules differ from community to community, leading to issues and confusion amongst community members.

If your HOA has fined you for having your service dog and you feel you have been treated unjustly, you can appeal using DoNotPay in these steps:

  1. Tell us why you received the fine (what violation are you being accused of)?

     

  2. Tell us the amount you are being fined for.

     

  3. Describe why you think this fine is wrong or unfair. For example, the alleged violation may have incorrect details or you may appeal on the basis that the rule is selectively enforced and discriminatory.

     

  4. Enter the date you received this fine and whether or not you received prior warnings.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay will also resolve these complaints for you:

We can also assist you with other tasks like:

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