If your landlord asks for a pet deposit, can they then stipulate that the cat must stay outdoors?

UPDATED: Feb 14, 2012

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If your landlord asks for a pet deposit, can they then stipulate that the cat must stay outdoors?

In other words, can they ask for an outdoor animal deposit?

Asked on February 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have already paid a pet deposit and the lease does not say that thhe cat must stay outdoors, then no, the landlord cannnot do this--it cannot, after the fact, add new terms or conditions to the lease.

On the other hand, if  you haven't signed yet and the landlord wants both a pet deposit and to require you to keep the cat outdoors, that is legal; if you agree to an "outdoor pet deposit," that is enforceable.

It therefore depends on what you have or do agree to.

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