What to do if I signed a lease with a verbal agreement that I could have a fish tankbut ow the apartment says that I can’t?

I went ahead and got the tank and all supplies needed. After I bought the supplies I notified the apartment that I was filling the tank. They then told me that I could not have the tank. Meanwhile all the supplies I have cannot be returned and I have a giant eye sore in my living room. Is there anything I can do at this point?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless the lease either specifically states that you can't have a fish tank, or otherwise gives the landlord some express right to determine what you have in your apartment, you can have the fish tank. A lease is a contract: both the landlord and the tenant have those rights and power--and only those rights and power--which are granted them by the lease. So if the lease doesn't prohibit a fish tank or otherwise give your landlord some veto power over it, you may have one.

If the lease does state that you cannot have a tank or allow the landlord to veto any fixture or furniture, etc. then, however, the landlord can prevent you having one. Having signed a written lease to that effect, any verbal agreement to the contrary would be irrelevant and unenforceable.

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