I am on a monthly rental. Can my landlord suddenly evict me and my dog?

Q: My wife and I rented an apartment in a three-family house in Queens, NY for the past decade. Whenever our son is on rotation in the ...


Q: My wife and I rented an apartment in a three-family house in Queens, NY for the past decade. Whenever our son is on rotation in the US military, we keep his golden retriever. Our original lease gave us permission to do this, but it expired years ago and we have had a monthly agreement ever since. We are again in the process of keeping dogs. The other day the landlord told me that the building only allowed dogs under 20 pounds, even though our original lease didn’t include weight restrictions. (Other tenants in the building have dogs, although theirs are smaller than ours.) The landlord then told me that we could move out at any time. Can he really deport us?

A: Your position is precarious because you live on a month-to-month rental contract. Your landlord can decide to end it at any time, with proper notice, as long as their actions are not discriminatory. In your case, he could terminate the lease with 90 days’ notice under New York law. So if he decides he’s had enough of the big dogs in the building, even if the original lease allows for pet sitting, you could lose the apartment, according to Darryl M. Vernon, an attorney who specializes in real estate that represents people with pets.

But hope is not lost. Your landlord allows dogs under certain circumstances. “They may be able to fix this problem,” Vernon said.


If size is the issue, the owner may be concerned about safety. Since this particular dog has lived in the building from time to time (presumably without incident), you can speak from experience of his behavior and temperament.

Ask your landlord to have a conversation about the dog and the terms of your lease. Explain that your son has been away in the military for a while and that the dog has been well behaved in the past. Respond directly to size issues, asking how you might alleviate the owner’s concerns. For example, you might agree to keep your distance from other tenants and pets. If you can get the landlord to agree, ask for a new one- or two-year lease that includes these terms.

But if the landlord doesn’t move, your son may have to make other arrangements for his dog, or you and your wife could lose the apartment.

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Newsrust - US Top News: I am on a monthly rental. Can my landlord suddenly evict me and my dog?
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