Can you allow some tenants to have pets but not all?

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Can you allow some tenants to have pets but not all?

I have lived in an apartment complex for 6 years and it was recently sold. I inquired about the pet policy and was told that you could not have pets, however, if i happened to see pets around it was because those people had the pets prior to them buying the complex and they were grandfathered in. If that is the case, shouldn’t I too be allowed a pet, since I lived there before they purchased the complex. Or if there is a no pet policy, shouldn’t it go for everyone?

Asked on August 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require all tenants to be treated the same in regard to pets. If your lease prohibits you from having pets, then you may not have them, even if other tenants do for some reason; if your lease does not prohibit pets, you may have one. When reviewing your lease, you also need to review any other building rules, policies, guidelines referenced in or incorporated into the lease. Note that is not uncommon, when a new pet policy is put into place, to grandfather in pets already in the building, but not to allow new pets, even of then-existing tenants; from what your write, what the building is doing apears to be legal.


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