Can you sue an apartment complex for having you get rid of your dog even though it’s a pet friendly apartment complex?

UPDATED: Aug 5, 2012

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Can you sue an apartment complex for having you get rid of your dog even though it’s a pet friendly apartment complex?

They told me when I signed the lease that if I decided to get a pet later on I just needed to sign a pet lease. Now they are saying that thy placed me in a non pet apartment with placed roommates and I can either find someone to take over my lease and find another place or keep my dog somewhere else.

Asked on August 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you signed a lease that forbids pets, you have  no recourse. People are presumed by the law to read, understand, and agree to the contracts (and that's what a lease is: a contract) they sign. In signing a lease which doesn't allow pets, you gave up a right to have one.

On the other hand, if the lease you signed does not specifically forbid pets, you may have one and they can't make you give it up or move. As noted, a lease is a contract; neither party to the lease may change its terms or add new terms. So if the lease does not bar dogs, your lanndlord cannot make you not have one.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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