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What are my legal rights?

Bronx, NY |

I have a small dog for 3 years now. My lease states that no pets are allowed. They want to evict me within 7 days. Building employees had knowledge for more than a year now.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

They can absolutely not evict you without a court order. Why are they saying seven days? Have they started legal proceedings against you?

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Asker

Posted

they sent a 10 days notice to remove the pet, which i did not followed. Now i received a 7 days notice of tenant termination.

Robert A. Stumpf

Robert A. Stumpf

Posted

If there is no court order, you can use that 7 days notice to housebreak your dog in case he needs it. And as my colleague says, you should be okay with the pet anyway.

Asker

Posted

you are of great help. is it very expensive going to court? and what should i do now? should i just do nothing? or contact my landlord? what is expected next?

Robert A. Stumpf

Robert A. Stumpf

Posted

No, it depends what you mean by "expensive" but it should be no great financial burden. Find a lawyer that will help you for a reasonable fee....there are many out there. Let him take the next steps....but do NOT be intiminated into moving out, period, before there is an actual court order in the Sheriff's hands. And that's not going happen in seven days, it will take much longer. and you'll have the opportunity to state your side of the case.

Posted

Dear they want to evict me:

A landlord in New York City forfeits the right to enforce the "no pet" clause in the standard form of lease, when the landlord does not start the actual court case within the first three month period following the landlord's knowledge of the harboring of the dog. The knowledge of the building employees is imputed to the landlord.

As a pet owner in NYC you should have made yourself familiar with your right to keep your pet, notwithstanding the lease.

Read more about the NYC Pet Law here:

http://www.mfy.org/wp-content/uploads/reports/PET-MANUAL.pdf

You may feel more comfortable defending your tenancy and right to keep your pet with an attorney on your side.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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Asker

Posted

thank you the article is very helpful. do you have any suggestions as what to do next? i believe i do have a chance at keeping my dog.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

Yes. Hire an attorney to protect you and your pet if the landlord starts a summary proceeding. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Aside from a hiring a lawyer, do you recommend us contacting the landlord or wait for them to begin the summary holdover proceeding?

Posted

I agree with my colleague that the law is on your side and that you should obtain legal assistance. In this type of case, knowing that the law is on your side may not be enough unless you have the ability to prove your case in court. Getting building employees to admit that they knew about your dog can be difficult. In my experience, the building super will not willingly testify against his boss. Don't bother contacting the landlord ahead of time: if they really want to sue you, they will no matter what you say. You would only be letting them know early on which employees could help your case.

I am not your attorney, and I am not providing legal advice to you or any reader. Find your local bar association online and contact it for referrals of qualified lawyers in your area. I do not provide answers to legal questions not involving New York state law.

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Asker

Posted

thats what worries me the most. the super is not willing to testify. i do have people in the building who would do it..but his employees are afraid of losing their jobs

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