POSTED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 12:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 12:40pm
You might call it a new trend in property management: using D-N-A to track down dogs who leave behind a mess, to get their owners to take responsibility.
Dog owners are getting notices from apartment managers demanding they hand over the D-N-A of their dogs, or face eviction.
It's underway in at least a few dozen apartment complexes all across the Dallas area.
Teresa Woodard has the story.
Perfectly cute. Not always perfectly clean.
This way this way come on!"
Chaparral Creek in Las Colinas is one of dozens of Dallas Apartment complexes with a problem.
"In fact, I'd like to live in a poopless community."
Resident Brian Barcus has a problem, with their solution.
"If they're gonna tell me I have to do something that wasn't in that lease, it's my turn to say tough luck."
"I'm hearing from clients - 2 to 3 a day."
Cedric Moses helped write the letters being delivered to apartment doors, outlining a new requirement:
dogs, like Brooklyn, must give up a DNA sample.
"This is just a swab."
That DNA is kept on file.
When the complex finds doggie waste, they pick it up and send it off.
Cedric's company determines which dog was responsible.
"It's very accurate, it's 99.9 percent accurate."
And the owner faces a fine.
If they refuse to pay or refuse to submit the DNA -- they risk termination of their lease.
"They're forcing me to do something that it wasn't in my lease, it wasn't something that I agreed to."
Barcus says his wife was the victim of a crime in their parking lot.
He says the complex would not let him out of his lease then and he's angry they can change the terms now.
Attorneys say changes to existing leases are hard to enforce but not impossible.
"And I believe a landlord may have a plausible argument that if it's a risk or a concern to other tenants' safety, then they may need to regulate this sort of issue via the agreement with their tenant."
Just the threat of a fine may lead to cleaner grounds.
But Barcus won't stick around to see it. His lease is up this summer.