If my landlord lives in the same duplex as me, even though I pay rent for use of half the property is he allowed to have his dogs go wherever?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my landlord lives in the same duplex as me, even though I pay rent for use of half the property is he allowed to have his dogs go wherever?

I’ve had to throw out many of my children’s outdoor things because his dog has peed on them. His dogs peed in our side of the basement before and his dogs deficate all over the property including right in front of our front steps.

Asked on July 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you pay rent for use but not exclusive possession of the basement and outdoor space, then the dogs may go into those areas--in essence, in this scenario, those areas are "common space" which may be used by all residents. That said, if he is dog damages or destroys your property, he would be liable for the cost to repair or replace, and if he will not pay voluntarily, you could sue him.

Also, even if the area is common space, if his dogs are making it unhealthy or unhygienic and continue to do so after you provide written notice to stop doing so, the landlord would be violating either or both of the implied warranty of habitability or the covenant of quiet enjoyment and you may have grounds to either sue him for compensation (e.g. an effective reduction in rent for the period this is going on, to compensate for the impairment in your use) and/or in extreme cases, even break the lease. If you think this is the case, speak with a landlord-tenant attorney.

If you are paying for exclusive possession of some of these areas (e.g. you get 1/2 the basement as part of your rental--you have a defined area that is yours), then the landlord may NOT let his dogs enter that area. If he does, besides being liable for damage, he is violating the leasee, which again could give you grounds to sue for monetary compensation or even possibly terminate the rental.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption