Leases And Dogs

If all the squabbles between landlords and dog-owning tenants were brought into court, there would be a backlog of cases that would take years to hear. Most leases state whether you can keep a dog on the premises and you'll be wise to examine your lease before getting a dog.

In some cases, landlords have allowed dogs to be kept by tenants, then later changed their minds. If this occurs, the chances are that you could keep the dog. The fact that he permitted you to have the dog in the first place will be in your favor. But the landlord can prevent other tenants from getting dogs.

The writer was embroiled in many of these landlord-tenant disputes when he was manager of the Bide-A-Wee Home in New York City. On one occasion he was subpoenaed as a witness in a case where the landlord claimed a tenant brought in a dog after the landlord had issued his edict about no dogs being allowed in the apartment house. The tenant had adopted the dog from Bide-A-Wee. And the date on the adoption certificate proved that the tenant had brought the dog home before the landlord posted his notice.

Unfortunately, not all the landlord-tenant disputes are that clear-cut. At any rate, you would be wise to notify your landlord that you intend getting a dog, even though your lease has no anti-dog clause. Very often the landlord has the last word about dogs in the apartment house. If he can get enough neighbors to complain that your dog is a nuisance, you're out of luck.

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