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Is it lawful for a landlord to threaten eviction over a pet if there is no written agreement?

Monrovia, CA |
Filed under: Tenant rights

My landlord has a dog and two cats. On many occasions, I have asked him to clean the cats' litter box when it begins to make the house smell like ammonia. I have also had my own dog here for the 2 years that I have been here. Recently, my girlfriend has been staying over, which hasn't been a problem, but now someone has given her a small puppy, less than 5 lbs., and she has been bringing it with her when she comes to visit. My roommate has been harrassing me and threatening to kick me out over this little dog, which stays mostly in my room, a room that I paid to put new carpet into because the original carpet was in horrible shape. I have been trying to reason with him, but it has come to the point where I have to pay to kennel my dog if my girlfriend is to come over. Is this okay?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Yes. Generally speaking, it would be lawful for the landlord to evict a tenant under such circumstances.

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 Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your prompt response, Frank. Is this the case even if there is no written agreement? My girlfriend is usually only over on weekends. Is it fair that he insists I pay to kennel her dog when she comes on weekends, even though I've always paid the rent on time for over two years and the puppy is kept my room when my girlfriend visits?

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Posted

Yes, even if there is no written lease agreement.

Posted

Since the landlord apparently did not put a "no pets provision" in the lease (or if the landlord did it was waived by accepting rent for two years knowing of your dog), the landlord may not be able to evict you by proving the pet problem was so severe as to amount to a "nuisance" or "waste" upon the premises under CCP 1161(4); Freeze v. Brinson, 3 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1, 5 (1991).

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Asker

Posted

There WAS no lease signed. As I speak, the heater in the house is broken, he bad-mouths me to the other tenants, and my girlfriend doesn't even want to visit because of how negative he is about every single thing. I saw him treat his old roommate this way before I moved in, and I just assumed that the old roommate was a bad guy, even though he'd been nothing but nice a respectful towards me. I now see the pattern that my landlord repeats, but I can't afford to move out right now, need at least a few months. Thanks for your time!

Asker

Posted

I forgot to mention that the house consistently smells like cat urine or marijuana. He bonds with the new tenant because she provides him with weed in a consistent basis. That bond makes me the outcast and helps feed his pattern of making me feel uncomfortable in my home, a home where I pay enough rent to cover his property tax on the home that he inherited. He stays at his girlfriend's house most of the time and he pays his taxes with the rent that he receives. Point being, my girlfriend's tiny puppy pales in comparison to the filth that I have to endure due to his neglect of his cats.

Posted

Why in the world would you want to stay? Do yourself a favor and move out.

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

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