My lease agreement specifies “no pets.” What should be done when a tenant sneaks in a dog? The tenant claims she’s just keeping it temporarily for a friend. The other tenants say the dog has been there for several weeks.

Since your lease agreement specifically prohibits pets, the tenant is in violation of lease terms and conditions. Depending on the situation you could give the tenant an oral warning to comply with the lease by removing the dog from the rental unit. If she fails to take care of the matter, you can serve her with a written notice to cure or quit. If she doesn’t comply with written notice requirements within the stated time frame, you could file for eviction.

It is important for a landlord to enforce his “no pets” policy as soon as he discovers a lease violation. If a landlord ignores the violation and does not serve notice on the tenant regarding the lease default, the landlord jeopardizes his position to take action at a later date. The tenant may argue that the landlord by failing to act in a timely manner waives his right to object to the tenant keeping a pet.

Be sure you document your actions and the tenant’s response or lack of response in order to support your position if the matter does require legal action.

Comments are closed.