Lease issues

CharlieM0805July 21, 2004

Greetings all,

My friend has been living in her apartment for 6 months now with 2 cats, the previous apartment manager knew of the pets and stated to her that she would have no issues concerning the animals. Well... He has been fired and no longer works at the complex, she had an inspection yesterday and was informed that evening that she needed to pay a $500.00 deposit for the pet, also was told that she could only have one pet. These pets are her childrens pets so its not just a matter of giving them away. The key issues in this are... 1) she never received a copy of her lease agreement from the previous manager 2) He had told her that payments would be incorporated into her rent (and were not, yes I realize she should have noticed this but she didnt) 3) The apartment complex is now saying that it doesnt matter what "he" told her, this is how it is now. The thing is, she would have never moved into this place had she known that they did NOT accept pets or that there was such a steep charge concerning pets, especially fixed cats.

She was told by the young lady at the office to submit a letter stating all this and she would "See" what she could do, but in the past the complex has not allowed deviation from the set rules (I wonder if her previous manager knew these "rules") and would probably have to get rid of the pets. I suggested she talk to the owner directly who is a much more personalble person then this lady that works in the office.

Any advice would be wonderful.

Thank you so much!

~Charlie

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spewey

It really doesn't matter what the manager told her; it's what's in the lease that matters. What do you mean she "never received her copy of the lease agreement"? One NEVER turns over a dime until they have a copy of the lease in hand. She was very foolish not to demand a SIGNED lease before handing over her first payment and deposit.

Deposits and limits on pets are normal. It's only a deposit; if the remaining pet doesn't trash the place, she should get it back. As for the other cat, it looks like those children are going to have to share the remaining cat, because if her lease specifies one pet, that's her obligation. I can't believe she took possession without demanding a lease.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 5:44PM
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wellim

Not so fast there spewey. Housing regs can vary from area to area. Here in NYC, if the tenant was openly keeping the pets and the old manager knew about it, there is a good chance she does not have to get rid of them - regardless of what the lease says. Housing regs override lease terms in this city - a lease cannot withdraw a tenant right granted under housing law. She may have to post the pet deposit though.

So, Charlie, where is your friend located? They really need to check local regs.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 5:56PM
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spewey

I know of no jurisdiction that specifically grants a tenant a right to keep animals (excluding service animals).

She can of course try to fight eviction, but I would imagine the court would rule she has to pay the deposit and get rid of one of the pets, as she apparently signed a lease with those terms. Still can't believe she handed over cash (and keeps paying rent) without her signed copy of the lease.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 6:15PM
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wellim

Welcome to NYC: Tenants may keep pets in their apartments if their lease permits pets or is silent on the subject. Landlords may be able to evict tenants who violate a lease provision prohibiting pets. In multiple dwellings in New York City and Westchester County, a no-pet lease clause is deemed waived where a tenant "openly and notoriously" kept a pet for at least three months and the owner of the building or his agent had knowledge of this fact. However, this protection does not apply where the animal causes damage, is a nuisance, or substantially interferes with other tenants. (NYC Admin. Code Ã27-2009.1(b); Westchester County Laws, Chapter 694). Tenants who are blind or deaf are permitted to have guide dogs regardless of a no-pet clause in their lease. (Civil Rights Law Ã47)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 8:25AM
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