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After 11 years no pets? Pets

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by lillysmom, May 26, 2010.

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  1. lillysmom

    lillysmom Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello Everybody,

    I moved into an apartment as a smoker with 2 cats. This is an absentee landlord situaiton. The agent did a check on me, interviewed me, was told I had pets and smoked. I was accepted. The landlord doesnt speak english so we have his neice as liason. She was fully aware I had 2 cats when i moved in. She was also advised after the upstairs apartment was broken into that I got a dog. I have also taken in one more cat 18 months ago. The people upstairs have a dog. We lived together amicably until last summer when i became ill, was hosptialized, and had a slow recovery. I was remiss in some cleaning briefly, but since then have even gotten better then before i was ill. For 6 months upstairs harrased me about odors. They never went to the laiason. In fact the liaison was unaware that the people upstairs were not the ones she thought but rather the daughter, grandson and boyfriend of the tenenats she thought were up their. One has a criminal record and history of loudness, agression and assault. The upstairs tenants dog goes out without a leash and does business on neighbors laws but they are too afraid to say anything. In 10 years neither the landlord or any representative have been to the residence they rent out. My apartment is a legal one. ON 5/14 I called the police on the upstairs tenant who was, at 1am, verbally harrasing me and threatening me. I have a report on file. On 5/15 the Dept of Mental Health and Hygeine call center took a report of animal waste and urine that put health at risk. This situaiton doesnt exsist. The upstairs people go on about odors, but my home does not smell. I had to involve the liason. Today her husband called me to told me the owner, the uncle, didnt want pets in the first place and now he wants to make it a "no pets" home. I am appaled. I was allowed rental with pets, have been there 11 years, was open about it, cared for them well, and, except for a few months kept up with the needs of the pets with respect to a good home environment. The carpet was there when i moved in and who knows how old it was - it was thought this could be a contributor to the problem and has been replaced. Now, prior to my moving in the people upstairs - the tenants prior to the ones there now, had cats, dog, smokers and children and lived their many years. the ones that moved in after them got a dog AFTER them moved in as well. I believe the landlord doesnt have the right to demand i get rid of my pets, or make me move because i will not give them up. Am i right? What can I do to ensure that I do not have to give them up or move. Also I am hoping the people upstairs move, as the landlord said they may, because one of them is dangerous.
     
  2. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    I'm going to assume that after 11 years there is no lease in place, correct?

    If not, you are considered to have a month to month tenancy. Your landlord can change the rules on a monthly basis and so yes, they can now tell you that your unit is going to be a no pets unit and your options are to find good homes for your pets or move to a place that allows them.

    If there is a lease and it allows you to have pets that stipulation remains in effect until the lease expires.

    I have found that when people live with pets, they really are unaware of the odors that come with pets; myself included. We get used to living with them while others may notice odors we've grown immune to.

    Gail
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  3. lillysmom

    lillysmom Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Re: month to month - i understand things can change, but there is plenty of precedant in this home that is in my favor - long before i moved in both apartments had pets. Now as to the smell, I have had visitors come in and tell me that it smells fine - some are pets owners and some are clean freaks. I have suggested to all parties that the ventilation system may be the problem and may need to be attended to profesisonaly. I have tried to suggest alternative reasons for the odor. I have lived there for over 11 years - the tenants upstairs for 8 - why is there a problem now? I have come to think that the tenant upstairs is simply fixated on this and will not be detered - it is personal with him. today he threatened my cats. he said he will get the house condemned. this issue is beyond the no pets issue it is one of my safety - my covenant of quiet enjoyment is broken - i think even month to month is entitiled to this. i have called the cops once on the tenant - i will compile all my notes from that point and send them to landlord, bring them to the precinct. i cannot move- the rent is too good and i cannot afford anything else. i have to fight this.
     
  4. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    Before you decide to fight this, please understand what type of lease you have...

    In the absence of a written lease you are considered to have a month to month tenancy (sometimes known as a tenancy at will). Your "lease" begins the first day of each month and ends on the last day of the same month, only to begin again the first day of the next month UNLESS either you or the landlord gives notice to terminate this type of lease.

    As such, the rules on the lease can also change each time it is renewed. Rents can change as well as the pets rule. In other words, a landlord can decide that the rental unit has now become a "no pets" area. It doesn't matter that years before the landlord allowed pets. That's one of the benefits of a month to month lease.

    If the two of you tenants continue to fight over this, the landlord is likely to simply terminate the lease of one or the both of you (if the other tenant is also on a month to month lease). If you guys continue to drag the landlord, the police, the Health Department, etc. etc. into your disagreements the landlord will likely send both of you written notices that they wish to terminate these month to month tenancies and you both will find yourselves looking for other places to live.

    If you receive this notice to terminate the lease and ignore it, you may likely find yourself evicted with your belongings (literally) out on the street.

    Gail
     

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