Homeowners in the South Seas Condominium on Marco Island, Florida, may soon have to pay a hefty special assessment because of a particularly boneheaded decision by their HOA.
The Feds have consistently said that service dogs are covered under the ADA. An HOA doesn’t get to claim they are pets, if the dog is actually performing services for a disabled person. But this particular HOA obviously doesn’t ‘get it.’ They will.
The South Seas Condominium has been harassing 56 year old resident Larry McKay over his 80-pound boxer. In 2008, McKay contracted MRSA, a mostly fatal staph infection that’s hit a number of people in the Southeast. McKay is confined to a wheelchair, and he says the service dog does a number of things for him, such as turning on the lights, and helping him get out of bed.
McKay’s dog helps him with other activities like getting on and off airplanes. The airlines recognize it’s a service dog. This HOA board is apparently too stupid to do the same.
In other parts of the country, such as California, Homeower Associations have been hit with huge fines by the ADA because they insist that all service dogs are merely ‘pets,’ prohibited by the HOA.
McKay has lots of supporters in his condominium. Doesn’t matter. When the FDA slams this condo with a massive fine, each and every condo owner is going to have to fork up some bucks to pay for the idiotic decisions by their HOA board.
A dumb waste of other peoples’ money. But it’s typical. So typical.
By Ward Lucas, author of Neigbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association