CASE #586-0, Evnin v. Decoverly IV Condominium, Inc.,March 17, 2004; (Chairman Hickey)
The homeowner (HO) constructed a cat cage that allowed his cat to travel from the kitchen to the patio by means of a cylindrical pipe-like structure.The cage was held in place with the use of the doorjamb, the sliding glass door and duct tape .It is undisputed that the cage was situated on the patio, and it was plainly visible from the rear of the building.
The condominium association's by-laws stated that no structure of a temporary nature, such as a trailer, tent, shack, or other outbuildings, could be maintained on the limited common elements at any time.The Association inspected the "cat cage" anddetermined that it was a temporary structure and a nuisance, and ordered the HO toremove it.He did not do so within the required time, and theassociation then added a fine of $50 for failure to remove the cage within the allotted time.
In his complaint to the Commission, the HO argued that the cage was a permanent structure and that it was not a nuisance.
The hearing panel held that the HO failed to persuade them that this cage was not maintained upon a limited or general common element and that it was not a structure of temporary character, and it dismissed his complaint.The panel also ruled that the HO had the right to appeal the association's decision to the Commission, and that therefore the fine of $50 should not have been imposed.Finally, the panel denied the association's request for attorney's fees on the grounds that the complaint was not frivolous.