What rights does a tenant have to “companion” animals?

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What rights does a tenant have to “companion” animals?

I currently live in rent-controlled 4-plex and my landlord is trying to evict me because I have 1 dog and 2 cats (which I’ve for a little over a year). I’ve given my landlord 2 doctor’s notes indicating the need for the animals, however the notes doesn’t seem to have any affect on her decision to try to evict me. The other thing in question is back in 09/10, my landlord informed me that she wanted to take over my apartment due to a short sell of her home. Since she found out that it would cost her $7000 to relocate me, she has tried to find ways to kick me out.

Asked on March 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to get help from someone in your area that knows the rent control laws.  They are very specific and can be "worked" by those that know how to do it.  But they are really pro-tenant and I am sure that your area has a rent control board that can help you answer these issues if you can not afford an attorney.  As for the issues with the pets, many states do indeed have laws that deal with what you call companion animals for health and well being issues.  Check with someone on the matter.  And check what kind of documentation you need (i.e., what the wording of the letter needs to be).  You have a lot of resources open to you here.  Use them. 


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