Can My Landlord Evict Me for Having a Pet?

As a pet owner, you have the right to keep your pet. That shouldn’t change just because you’re renting a home. This begs the question, can my landlord evict me for having a pet?

Your landlord can only evict you for having a pet if it violates your lease agreement, but he still has to follow the law, serve you notice, and give you time to make other arrangements. Most importantly, your landlord can’t just take your pet away from you.

In this article, we talk all about pet policies and lease agreements so we can put an end to your worries. Stick around. 

Reviewing Your Lease

Make sure you’re familiar with the following sections and provisions of your lease agreement to protect you and your pet.

Pet Policy

Many leases have a clause that specifically prohibits pets. If your lease does not allow pets, of course, you may risk eviction if you get one.

However, even if your lease doesn’t explicitly forbid pets, your landlord may still evict you for having one. This is because many landlords have what’s called a “nuisance clause” in their leases.

This clause gives landlords the right to evict tenants if their pet is disruptive or poses a health and safety hazard to other tenants.

Pet Deposit

If your property allows pets, you’ll likely be required to pay a pet deposit. These fees help offset any specific damage your pet may cause to the property.

Renters’ insurance can also help you cover pet liability costs, so review your insurance policy as well.

Pet Rent

Besides the pet deposit, your landlord can also require pet rent. It’s exactly what you think it is: extra rent you pay for having a pet.

Unfortunately, your pet can’t do anything to help you pay, so you have to account for the extra fee to avoid violating your lease. And, unlike the pet deposit, you can’t get your pet rent back at the end of your contract.

Getting Evicted Because of Your Pet

By familiarizing yourself with the pet policy in your lease agreement and staying current on fees, you and your pet should have no trouble keeping your landlord happy. However, it’s always best to be prepared and avoid any pitfalls.

Here are some of the common reasons why your landlord can evict you for having a pet:

1. Your pet is causing damage to the property.  

2. Your pet is disruptive and noisy.  

3. Your pet isn’t potty-trained and is making a mess around the property.  

4. Your pet is highly aggressive and causes physical harm to a neighbor or guest on the property.

5. Your lease agreement doesn’t allow pets, yet you move in with one anyway. Note that many landlords ask if you have a pet in the rental application, so if you lie and bring it in, that could be a violation of the lease (which often has a provision that states that you were truthful in your application).

In any of these cases, your landlord will need to give you notice to vacate the premises. In most states, however, the landlord must give you a certain amount of time to remedy the situation, from 7 to 30 days. Only then can he proceed with the eviction.

Now if you get a pet because it is a service animal or it is an emotional support animal, the law may protect you against eviction, but there are some clear hurdles you need to meet. To learn more about when your landlord must accept your emotional support animal, check out my article here.

Bottom Line

“Can my landlord evict me for having a pet?” is a question that many tenants ask. As a pet owner, you have to know the specific pet policies in your lease and follow them so that you don’t risk eviction. 

Lease violations are the biggest reasons your landlord can evict you for having a pet. These include your pet causing damage to the property or disturbing other tenants, as well as failure to pay the required pet fees.

If your landlord has any problems with your pet outside of your lease agreement, try to negotiate a solution that works for both of you. You can always consult with the local housing authority or an attorney in your area to get specific advice on your situation.