If mylease says nothing about animals, doI have to get rid of them?

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2011

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If mylease says nothing about animals, doI have to get rid of them?

I woke up today to a note on my door mainly saying that I  have to get rid of 2 of my dogs. In the beginning when I signed the contract he said I could have 1 dog because I already had her, but everytime I got another dog I would mention it to him and also he would see them outside. His daughter came to my house today and told me I have to get rid thedogs, because her father doesn’t remember me mentioning the dogs and he thought I only had 1 even though I would talk to him all the time about my dogs).

Asked on August 19, 2011 Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; it binds both parties. Neither party may unilaterally add or change terms. If the lease does not mention pets or animals, you may have them--the landlord cannot tell you to get rid of them.

When the lease comes up for renewal, unless it automatically renews at the same terms, the landlord could change it to make it no pets allowed. He might also be able to elect to simply not rent to you. So after this lease is up, you may have to either get rid of the animals or look for a new place to live. But in the meantime, during the lease, if animals are not barred by the lease, you should be able to have them.

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