Can A Landlord Make You Get Rid Of Your Dog?
Having a pet is a joy and a responsibility that many people enjoy. However, when it comes to renting a property, the rules surrounding pet ownership can become a little more complicated. One of the most common concerns for pet owners is whether a landlord can make them get rid of their beloved dog. In this article, we will explore this topic and provide you with five interesting facts to better understand your rights as a pet owner. Additionally, we will answer 14 common questions related to this issue at the end of the article.
1. No-pet policies: Landlords have the right to enforce no-pet policies in their rental properties. This means that even if you have a dog, the landlord can legally prohibit you from having one on their premises. These policies are often put in place due to allergies, potential property damage, or past negative experiences with pets.
2. Reasonable accommodation: However, landlords are also required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, which includes allowing them to have a service or emotional support animal. Under the Fair Housing Act, individuals with disabilities are protected against discrimination, and landlords must make exceptions to their no-pet policies in these cases.
3. Breed restrictions: Some landlords impose breed restrictions, prohibiting certain dog breeds from their properties. This is often due to concerns about aggressive behavior or potential liability issues. While breed restrictions are legal in most cases, they may not be enforceable if your dog is a certified service animal or emotional support animal.
4. Pet deposits and fees: Many landlords impose pet deposits or additional fees for tenants with pets. These fees are used to cover any potential damages caused by the pet during the rental period. However, it’s important to note that these fees should be reasonable and not excessive, as excessive fees may be considered discriminatory.
5. Negotiation and compromise: It’s worth trying to negotiate with your landlord if you really want to keep your dog. Sometimes, offering to pay an additional pet deposit or providing references from previous landlords who can vouch for your responsible pet ownership can sway their decision. However, keep in mind that landlords have the final say, and they are not required to accept any compromises.
1. Can a landlord evict me if I have a dog?
Yes, if you violate a no-pet policy or refuse to comply with reasonable accommodation requests, a landlord can start eviction proceedings.
2. Can a landlord make me get rid of my emotional support animal?
If you have a valid emotional support animal prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act.
3. Can a landlord charge me extra for having a dog?
Yes, landlords can charge additional fees or pet deposits for having a dog, as long as they are reasonable and not excessive.
4. Can a landlord deny me a rental property simply because I have a dog?
Yes, landlords can deny your application if they have a no-pet policy or breed restrictions in place.
5. Can a landlord discriminate against certain dog breeds?
While landlords can impose breed restrictions in most cases, they may not be enforceable if your dog is a certified service animal or emotional support animal.
6. Can a landlord change their pet policy after I move in?
Generally, landlords cannot change the pet policy during the term of your lease agreement. However, they may change the policy for future tenants.
7. What can I do if my landlord wants me to get rid of my dog?
You can try negotiating with your landlord, offering compromises such as an additional pet deposit or references from previous landlords. If unsuccessful, you may need to consider finding alternative housing.
8. Can a landlord ask for documentation regarding my dog?
Yes, landlords can ask for documentation to verify that your dog is a certified service animal or emotional support animal.
9. Can a landlord refuse to rent to me if my dog is a certain size?
While landlords can impose size restrictions, they may not be enforceable if your dog is a certified service animal or emotional support animal.
10. Can a landlord charge me for damages caused by a previous tenant’s dog?
No, landlords cannot charge you for damages caused by a previous tenant’s dog. They can only charge for damages caused by your own pet.
11. Can a landlord enter my rental property to inspect my dog?
Landlords generally have the right to enter your rental property for inspections, but they should provide proper notice and have a valid reason for doing so.
12. Can my landlord terminate my lease if my dog barks too much?
If excessive noise from your dog violates your lease agreement or disturbs other tenants, your landlord may have grounds to terminate your lease.
13. Can a landlord deny me a rental property if I have a service dog?
No, landlords cannot deny you a rental property solely because you have a service dog. They must make reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act.
14. Can I sue my landlord if they force me to get rid of my dog?
If your landlord violates fair housing laws or does not follow the terms of your lease agreement, you may have grounds to sue for discrimination or breach of contract.
In conclusion, while landlords have the right to enforce no-pet policies and impose certain restrictions, tenants with disabilities protected by the Fair Housing Act have the right to reasonable accommodation for service or emotional support animals. It’s important to be aware of your rights as a pet owner and to communicate openly with your landlord to find possible compromises.