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Home Pet Q&A Dog Questions Can A Landlord Make You Get Rid Of Your Dog?

Can A Landlord Make You Get Rid Of Your Dog?

Your landlord cannot make your get rid of your dog without going through proper legal channels. Some will try, and many tenants have rehomed their dog because of a threat from a landlord, but make sure you know your rights before making such a drastic decision. You may be surprised to learn how many protections you have under the law. Laws and regulations vary greatly based on location and other factors, which is why doing your rehome_research is a must.

Never Sign A Lease That Specifies No Pets 

You love the apartment, but the lease says "no pets." The landlord assures you that it's just an old lease and pets are fine. Do NOT sign that lease. If the landlord changes his mind about pets down the road, all that will matter is what's in the lease. Insist on only signing an updated lease that states pets are allowed.

Landlord Threatens to Remove Your Pet

Your landlord cannot enter your unit and remove your pet. He has to go through proper legal procedures. Seek legal advice immediately if your landlord has threatened this type of action. 

Service Animals are Allowed

Even if yours is a no-pet building, service animals are allowed, and you cannot be charged a pet fee. If your landlord is threatening eviction over a service animal, get the advice of a local advocacy group or attorney. 

A New Landlord Wants the Dog Gone

In most cases, the new landlord must abide by current leases. There are exceptions, and that's why it's important to know your rights and to get advice from your local housing authority. Of course, once the current lease is up, the new landlord can include language that prohibits pets. 

A No-Pet Clause Is Void In Some Cases 

In some locations, a no-pet clause becomes void if a pet has lived openly (not hidden from the property owners) in the rental for three months. This varies by type of unit and location.

What You Can Do to Prevent Issues With Your Landlord 

  • Never sneak an animal into a rental where pets are prohibited.
  • Be very clear about language in the lease as it relates to pets.
  • Provide proper training for your dog so he'll be well-behaved.
  • Be honest when moving in about what type of dog and how many dogs you have.
  • Don't add additional pets without checking that it will be allowed.
  • Always pay required pet fees on time.
  • Pick up after your dog in common areas. 

While your landlord can't usually demand you rehome your pet right away, if he really wants the dog off the property, he will eventually make it happen. As soon as you realize your landlord is not okay with your dog, start looking for a new place. That way when your lease is up, you'll already have a plan and won't have to surrender your pet. 

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