Barking, common area maintenance costs, damage to common areas and attacks on residents are just some of the dog-related complaints that pit condo corporations against residents.
Dog owners are responsible for the conduct of their pet. Condo corporations have a responsibility to establish and enforce rules relating to pets.
Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act states that the “owner of a dog is liable for damages from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal.” Regardless of fault, responsibility lies with the owner of the dog.
Condo corporations have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure people on the property are safe. Many condo corporations have rules with respect to dog ownership and dog visits. This may include a limit on the size, weight or number of dogs. It may be a requirement that dogs be leashed when in common areas of the building.
In the event of a dog attack on common elements, the corporation needs to have taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety of those on the property. Having rules relating to dogs is not enough. It is important that condo corporations act when made aware of dog complaints.