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Can my landlord evict you for owning a pet in New York?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Landlord/Tenant Matters |

While pets enrich lives, most landlords never quite welcome them on their properties.  If you are a resident of New York and looking to introduce a pet in your rental property, you might want to know what your landlord has to say before going ahead with your idea. 

Whether it is a dog, a cat or any other pet, most landlords tend to be adamant about allowing pets on their properties, with the addition of pet fees. Sometimes, they’ll include a “no pet” policy on the tenancy contract. Still, others will limit the number of and nature of pets you can keep on the property. But what does the law say about having a pet on a rental property in New York?

A tenant’s rights to keep a pet on a rental property

At the very basic, the Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their race, religion, political affiliation or disability. This means that the law protects you from the repercussions of keeping any doctor-approved emotional support animal on a rented property even when the lease contract says otherwise. 

A service animal is generally any animal that has been trained to offer assistance to an individual with a disability like visual impairment. Emotional animals, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to undergo any training. However, they must be able to provide emotional or physical support to the owner. 

This law requires that you provide written documentation from your doctor or therapist stating that you need to have the animal to maintain a standard quality of life. 

The landlord’s right to evict you for keeping a pet

A landlord may evict you for keeping a pet in violation of the “no pets” policy on your tenancy agreement if the pet in question is not providing any medically-approved service or emotional support. Also, the landlord may evict you if you violate the lease restrictions regarding the size, type or breed of the animal or the stipulated pet clean-up and restriction rules. 

Landlord-tenant disputes are caused by a variety of factors. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while addressing a dispute with your landlord.