Can Landlords Prohibit Certain Breeds?

The laws of the state usually provide the means for a landlord to prohibit the access and ownership of the renter or tenant with certain breeds of dog, sizes or weights of dogs or even no dogs or pets at all on the property. Some landlords have more power based on the specific city which can grant more authority to the landlord in these matters.

The Fair Housing Act

The Act is an important item that prohibits landlords from discrimination based on civil rights of United States citizens to include familial status. However, these civil rights do not extend to most other housing matters such as the ability to bring a pet on the property or even having more than so many individuals in the unit. The landlord usually has the most power in deciding if any pet can reside in the unit or what type of breed the property may have. These rules usually exist in the tenant contract for housing with the location and are in writing which the tenant will sign.

The Tenant Contract

The clauses for  the renter agreement specifically state what restrictions will apply for the unit and the property for all tenants that reside at the location. Some of these clauses will prohibit any dogs on the property while others will provide the tenant an opportunity to own and keep certain dogs in the unit. Usually, the stipulations involve state and city laws that ban certain breeds such as violent dogs or those with violent tendencies based on statistical data given to the state. These breeds are usually not given the chance to take residence anywhere in the city or require strict limitations.

The Size of the Dog

The landlord has the power to prohibit the breed of dog through a blanket ban on any pet that is over a certain size. Because the more aggressive dogs known in the state are larger, the landlord can limit ownership on the property by requiring all tenants to only have dogs that are small or a certain number of inches. This is also a safety concern for the property as many landlords believe that the larger the dog is, the more damage the animal may cause. However, the size of the animal can also decrease the fear other tenants may have when the dog is outside.

The Weight of the Dog

Landlords in many states can prohibit dogs based on weight. If the animal is over certain poundage, the landlord could restrict ownership while on the property. This weight usually also connects with the size of the dog, but this is not always the case. Some owners will need to check the weight of the dog based on the breed and the current weight if the dog will get bigger. Some landlords will use a combination of weight and breed to ensure that any animal does not exceed the weight as the dog grows up.

Power of the Landlord

Whether the landlord is the owner of the property or a manager that oversees the tenants and contracts, he or she usually has the power to prohibit anything the law does not specify or limit. When not violating the state and city regulations, the landlord has more power over these matters than the renter or leaseholder. The contract between the two parties generally explains what power the landlord holds and how the tenant can violate the relevant obligations. Many of these govern what the tenant can and cannot do on the property and can even extend to smoking, holding parties and having certain breeds of dogs.

Violations with the Property

The tenant can violate the contract or agreement to rent or lease the property. These violations can breach the contract or cause the landlord to evict the person. Generally, when this is in regards to the breed of dog on the property, the contract or agreement may stipulate what the can do such as fine the person or evict him or her. This can lead to the need to hire a lawyer and litigate against the tenant for having the dog on the property or causing damage to the unit.

Hiring a Lawyer against the Tenant

When the landlord needs to litigate against the tenant for having a breed of dog against the agreement or contract, he or she may use the situation to collect damages for the breach of contract. Some landlords may acquire additional compensation above the security deposit in this manner.

If you have a landlord that says your dog breed is not allowed in the property, call us, we can help.  Call our office at (561)838-9595.

Provided by HG.org