I got grandfathered into a co-op building. On the original lease and the lease I signed in 2000, it stated pets were allowed as long as they were under 25lbs. I have a 6 lb. quiet Pomeranian. I just received a letter from the lawyers of my building stating they've been informed I've violated my Lease by harboring a dog. They sent me a certified letter today (12/18) and say I must remove the dog by 12/29. Yet my original lease says as long as my pet is under 25lbs it's allowed. Is this legal for them to demand removal of a pet w. such short notice? Can I present them with my previous leases to show I haven't violated any terms in my Lease?
Dear New York Tenant:
I gather that you are a rent stabilized tenant and did not purchase the apartment when the building converted to cooperative ownership. The text and context of the provision in the original lease allowing a dog under 25 pounds and your lease renewals and riders are essential to forming an opinion whether the owner of the apartment has a claim that you violated the lease. Moreover, the actual text of the Notice to Cure would inform your attorney about the entity that issued the notice and the lease provision claimed violated by having the dog.
If you are correct, about your lease that may help you if your own landlord demanded the cure. But the owner of your apartment is subject to the lease created by the cooperative (the Proprietary Lease) and it is not at all likely that your dog rights are contained in the Proprietary Lease. Likely, the owner's lease with the cooperative bars having a dog. If you are a Rent Stabilized tenant, your lease trumps the owner's proprietary lease. You did not mention if the notice came from the cooperative to you and the apartment owner, or from the apartment owner to you. Your direct landlord likely knows you had a dog all these years.
In any case, your tenancy and dog may have additional protection because the NYC Pet Law, prohibits a landlord from invoking a lease provision barring a tenant from having a pet if the animal companion was in the apartment for at least three months and the landlord had actual knowledge about the dog or the tenant openly walked the dog in and out from the building (that counts as landlord had knowledge of the dog) and the landlord did not start the actual lawsuit within three months of first having knowledge.
Now. The Pet Law may not apply to your tenancy since you claim the lease provided actual permission and did not bar having a dog. So the lease may protect you. No attorney answering this question on AVVO would suggest you voluntarily show your lease and other documents to the landlord's attorney without having your own attorney at your side.
I suggest you consult an experienced tenant's rights attorney.
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.
Mr. Smollens is correct, but I wonder if it's a "comfort dog." I'm hearing a lot about these lately...
I'm 3 "most helpful" answers away from a free blender! I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists. Who reads these disclaimers anyway? If you're reading this, let me know because I'm curious. Did you know that a watched pot never boils and that a stitch in time saves nine? Or that a rolling stone gathers no moss? Honestly, I am surprised that you are still reading this disclaimer. Personally, I normally don’t pay much attention to these things. I am impressed and commend you for taking the time. I never actually anticipated anyone would ever get this far into my disclaimer and I only wish I had something more meaningful to say. Thank you for bearing with me and for sticking it out to the end.
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