Can an apartment complex inflict exorbitant fines and threaten eviction?

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Can an apartment complex inflict exorbitant fines and threaten eviction?

I received a fine in the mail from my apartment complex due to my dog being seen without a leash. It did not give proof or details, and I have not received any warning or been fined before. I do let my 7 lb dog out 15 ft for her to do her business. I’m right by her side and she is trained to make a bee line for the door. The apartment claims if I do not pay within 2 weeks they’ll kick us out. State statute does give them the right to remove a tenant if a safety issue is not corrected. I’ve reviewed the lease and while the do specify dogs need to be on a leash, they do not define punishments or penalties. Couldn’t find statutes and they provide info on reasonable fines?

Asked on October 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Tenants can be evicted for violating their lease after a warning to stop doing so, so if you have let your dog out without a leash, in violation of the lease, and continue to do so after they tell you to stop, they could potentially evict you. However, they may only charge you fines or fees which are in your written lease--they may NOT unilaterally add additional or new fines/fees--and therefore cannot evict you for failing to pay a fine or fee which they had no authority to charge in the first  place.


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