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Can a property owner/landlord make you give up some/all of your pets?

Montclair, CA |

A little background: We've had our cats for just about 8 years and never informed the original landlord we had them. Numerous inspections have been conducted on the premises and our apartment has had to be entered during these inspections. The different apartment managers, and sometimes the property owners, have entered our apartment during the inspections. Nothing has ever been said about our cats (knock on wood) and we've never hidden our cats. Since so much time has gone by, can they make us give up our cats? They're like family.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes. If you want to continue to live in the unit I would try and reach an accommodation with the landlord. Irrespective of the terms of your rental agreement, the landlord can terminate it at any time upon 60 days notice. My answer assumes you are not under a local rent control ordinance which might change this result. Good luck.

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Generally speaking, yes, if there is no lease or rental agreement allowing for pets. Landlords are not required to rent to tenants with pets (except for service animals).

However, there are limited exceptions. In California, residents of public housing developments who are over the age of 60 or disabled may keep up to two small pets per apartment per California Health and Safety Code section 19901. Also, under federal law, tenants in "federally assisted" housing for the elderly or handicapped are allowed to own pets.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


Maybe. The length of time you've had the cats is important. However, if the building is under new management or your lease is up for renewal they can require that you adhere to a no pets policy.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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