Q&A: To Fee or Not to Fee?

image of dog dark background

Q. I’m a board member of my condo association here in New Jersey. All of our board members subscribe to your paper and always find it helpful.

We are going to institute a pet registration form for dogs and cats and were thinking of assessing an annual fee of $25. Is this reasonable to ask for such a fee?  Our thinking was to follow the town’s rule which does the same.

I look forward to hearing back. Thank you!!

                                        —Fur and Fair

A. “I understand the desire to ask for a ‘pet fee,’” says Elysa D. Bergenfeld, Esq., attorney at Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., in Princeton. “However, generally speaking, a separate fee (rent fee, pet fee, move in, move out fee, etc.) is lawful only to the extent that the amount of the fee amount is reasonably related to a precise amount incurred by the association because of that particular activity. Also, a true position on this cannot be supplied without a reference to your condominium’s master deed and bylaws.”

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