What are our rights if our landlord changed terms after we moved in?

We signed a contract with an upscale apartment and are moving from our house that we sold to the apartment until our new one is built. The apartment had us fill out forms for background checks and

credit, all our basic information was provided along with that we have pets in their pet information section. a 1 year blue heeler dog, and a cat. No were has anything said they don’t allow dogs. We have paperwork stating that we are approved to move in and meet the requirements of the apartment. We moved 1 load in with a moving truck on Thursday and on Friday 2 loads in. Friday at 5 pm we got a call from the apartment manager that we are not able to have the dog at the apartment, they don’t allow dogs, unless it’s a service animal. The apartment manager didn’t look what a blue heeler was when she approved. Maybe she thought it was a pet rock. So Friday evening I moved all of our belongings to a friend’s shed 3 hours away, closest place I could find late at night as I had to get it done asap as I’m back out on the road for my job as a traveling wind tech. Can I take them to small claims court for extra moving cost, my wife having to stay in a hotel because she needs to be there for work and the exrta expensive associated with the hassle of being half moved in and moving out.

Asked on January 30, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, based on what you write, when you filled out all the required information accurately (i.e. what happened was not due to your fault) and were told you could move in, then the apartment complex went back on their agreement that you could move in, you should be able to recover the direct, out-of-pocket costs attributable to their breach of their agreement. There is no recovery for inconvenience, hassle, or frustration, but you should have a reasonable case for storage or hotel costs. You suit would be based on breach of contract--their violation of their agreement.


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