Winston-Salem Journal, N.C., Ask SAM column
Jan 06, 2013 (Winston-Salem Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Q. Where I live I have a deck on my condo. I have an older dog who is very nice and loves folks. When I moved in, my landlord told me it was fine to have my dog on the deck as long as I had a baby gate up at the entrance going out into the yard which is large and woods surrounds the yard. Since October, I have had new neighbors who call my landlord to report my dog is on my deck. My landlord now tells me that according to the rules of the homeowners, I can't let my dog on the deck and step away for a few minutes. She says if she doesn't follow the rules, she will be fined by the homeowners for $125. The neighbor has also taken pictures of me and my dog. I called the Forsyth County Sheriffs Department, and a deputy came out. The neighbor told the deputy she doesn't feel safe here and she is making videos of the parking lot.
Answer: Lawson Newton, a local attorney who specializes in real-estate law, said that homeowner's associations (HOAs) have the right, in almost all cases, to pass regulations regarding owner activity including the maintaining of pets at the premises.
"Assuming the regulation in question was duly implemented by the HOA, your landlord, as owner, is obligated to abide by the regulation," Newton explained by e-mail. "Further, the owner is responsible for making sure that any tenant or guest of the owner is likewise in compliance."
If the owner is fined for the tenant being out of compliance on a rule about the dog, the owner can pass the cost of that fine on to the tenant, he said.
"Moreover, the lease may provide that the tenant is to comply with all rules and regulations of the HOA," he added. "If so, the failure by the tenant to do so could be considered a breach of the lease agreement by the tenant. Therefore, I suggest that the reader, as tenant, make every effort to comply with the regulation in question."
As for your question about the "photo obsessed" neighbor, he suggested you get back in touch with the sheriff's office if the behavior continues. He said that he was skeptical whether the acts you are de-scribing amount to a crime, such as stalking.
However, he said, "a conversation with one of our good law-enforcement officers might resolve that situation. The reader might also want to consult with an attorney to contact the neighbor and request a stop to the 'picture taking' as a possible invasion of privacy matter."
Q. Now that Time Warner Cable has dropped Current TV and Ovation, are they going to add any new channels to take their place
Answer: "We don't have any plans to launch new channels in those particular channel numbers," said Scott Pryzwansky, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable.
After our recent answer on the claim that Chris Paul's grandfather had the first black-owned service station in North Carolina, L.S. Durham wrote in to let us know about a station that pre-dates it.
Durham wrote in that his father, Lippmon B. Durham, owned and operated Durham and Son, an Amoco station in Mount Olive, from the early 1950s until his death in 1983. The station had two gas pumps and his father serviced cars as well.
The service station that was owned by Nathaniel Jones, Chris Paul's grandfather, opened in 1964.
Durham's station was next to a school that, at the time, was the black grade school. "My dad would extend a monthly credit account to the teachers and allow them to pay when they got paid," Durham wrote. "As you can imagine, he was very well respected by everyone."
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