Along Lynn Shore drive, the dog days of summer are heating up with controversy because of Milo, a nine pound therapy dog. His owner Cheryl Hardnett said he barely makes a peep, helping her deal with depression.
“It helped, it helped me get out of my rut,” said Hardnett.
Hardnett and her dog have lived in a rental unit at the OceanView condominium for nearly three years without any complaints. That is until new association president Yevgeniya Tunik took over, leveling more than 14 thousand dollars in fines, which are still unpaid.
We were unable to reach Tunik for comment. Her attorney Karl Goodman did send us a statement saying, “The dog is in violation of the no pets provisions of the condominium, and the tenant or owner of the unit never petitioned the trustees for an exemption.”
As for the unit’s owner, Pam Walsh is the one being sued. But says she’s standing with her tenant.
“I don’t want to disobey the federal law,” said Walsh.
This federal law is called the Fair Housing Act
“So the general rule is they have to change their rules up to afford someone an equal opportunity to enjoy their housing,” said Stan Eichner with the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts.
Eichner said the condo association would have to accommodate Hardnett if she has a legitimate doctors note.
“Unless they could demonstrate that doing so provided an undue hardship to them, which is unlikely,” said Eichner.
Hardnett said she has doctor's note. And the condos associations' lawsuit is all bark without any bite.
A jury trial is scheduled at Lynn District Court on August 30.