If a dog has been appproved by my landlord, can she later change her mind after I’ve signed the lease and moved in?

I recently moved into a new apartment. I am allowed to have up to 2 dogs. The property manager stated my dog “looked like a Pitbull” and wanted verification he wasnt. I obtained the info from my vet but that wasn’t good enough for her. So I had a dog DNA test done and the results came back as Am Bulldog mix crossed with Boxer/Parson Russell Terrior. She now comes out of the blue with “AM Bulldogs are not allowed”. Prior to me signing the lease or moving in, she said all she required was proof my dog wasn’t a Pitbull. Now the rules have changed and she is saying I have to get rid of my beloved dog, who is already approved and on the lease; it was never stated to me that there were breed restrictions other than Pitbull. Is this legal for her to do, seeing as the dog is already on the lease and I was given no knowledge of this rule until after I had moved in and paid rent/security?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

So what you are stating is that the landlord put in your lease that this particular dog was approved and specifically mentioned and that the lease was signed and now she is trying to change the lease, correct?  If it is as I have stated here then no, she can not now alter the lease agreement orally or change it unilaterally.  I would take it to an attorney who can read it to be sure.  Good luck.

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