For tenants with pets, fear of eviction is real

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As a little kid, I always wanted a pet. But I couldn’t have one. For one thing, I was horribly allergic to just about everything. If I patted or got licked by a dog, I had an asthma attack or broke out in hives. If I got scratched by a cat, I got an antihistamine reaction.

When I was 10, everything changed. We got a cat. Her name was Tiger. We got her from some friends that were moving to Saudi Arabia. She was supposed to live in our attic.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

And she was only supposed to stay with us long enough to eradicate the mice that were running rampant in our apartment. She never caught a mouse. And I had her for 17 years.

It’s a good thing our landlord was cool with it. That’s not always the case.

The case of the selective ‘no pets policy’

In an article I came across the other day, the author answered an interesting question about an allegedly selective “no pets policy.” Specifically, the reader who submitted the question to The New York Times “Ask Real Estate” page, wanted to know if his (or her) new landlord could make good on a threat to evict him (or her). The alleged threat to do so  is based on a claim that the reader has a pet and is therefore in violation of his (or her) lease.

In this case, the reader lives in a “rent-stabilized apartment” in Brooklyn. His (or her) chihuahua has also lived there for the past 10 years.

Based on the information provided the short answer is “no.” You can read a more detailed explanation here.

In the same article, you can also learn why the new building owners are well within their rights to extend “pet friendly” leases to some new tenants, but not to others.

If there’s one thing scarier than getting kicked out of your home…

Being homeless is a frightening prospect for anyone. But if there’s one thing scarier for an animal lover, it’s being forced to choose between their home and their pet.

With that in mind, I’m including a list of resources below  that you can consult if you or someone you know is facing eviction. Please keep in mind that this material is provided strictly for informational purposes and is not legal advice.

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