Can My Landlord Kick Me Out for Having a Dog

Landlords have various rights and responsibilities when renting out their properties. One common question that arises is whether they can evict tenants solely for owning a dog. The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as local laws, the terms of the lease agreement, and any relevant housing regulations. In some jurisdictions, there might be laws that prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants based on pet ownership. However, in other areas, landlords may have more freedom to set their own pet policies. Understanding the specific rules and regulations in your area is essential before making any decisions regarding pet ownership in a rental property.

Landlord Restrictions on Pet Ownership

It’s important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant regarding pet ownership. Landlords can have certain restrictions on pets, including whether or not they are allowed in the rental property, what type of pets are allowed, and how many pets are allowed. In some cases, landlords may require tenants to pay a pet deposit or pet rent.

Prohibited Breeds

Some landlords may have a list of prohibited breeds. This is usually due to insurance or liability concerns. Common breeds that are often prohibited include:

  • Pitbulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Husky
  • Wolf Hybrids
  • Mastiffs

Size and Weight Restrictions

Some landlords may also have restrictions on the size or weight of pets. This is often to protect the property from damage and to ensure the safety of other tenants.

For example, a landlord may limit the size of dogs to 25 pounds or the weight of cats to 10 pounds.

Pet Deposits and Pet Rent

Landlords may charge a pet deposit or pet rent as a condition of allowing pets in the rental property. The pet deposit is usually refundable at the end of the tenancy, while the pet rent is usually a monthly fee.

The amount of the pet deposit or pet rent can vary, but it is typically between $200 and $500.

Tips for Renting with Pets

If you have a pet, there are a few things you can do to make the process of renting easier:

  • Be honest with your landlord. Disclose that you have a pet and provide information about the type, breed, size, and weight of your pet.
  • Ask about the landlord’s pet policy. This will help you understand the landlord’s requirements and avoid any surprises.
  • Be prepared to pay a pet deposit or pet rent. This is a common requirement for pet owners.
  • Keep your pet well-behaved. Make sure your pet is properly trained and socialized, and take steps to prevent your pet from causing damage to the property.


By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a rental property that allows pets and keeping your landlord happy.

State Pet Deposit and Pet Rent Laws
StatePet Deposit LimitPet Rent Limit
California2 months’ rent10% of monthly rent
Florida3 months’ rent$250 per month
New York1 month’s rent$25 per month
TexasNo limitNo limit

Understanding the Terms of Your Lease

Before you bring a dog into your rental unit, it’s essential to understand the terms of your lease. Many landlords have specific policies about pets, and violating these policies can have serious consequences, including eviction. Here are some things to look for in your lease:

  • Pet Restrictions: Some leases prohibit pets altogether, while others may only allow certain types or sizes of pets. Make sure you know what the restrictions are before you get a dog.
  • Pet Deposit: Many landlords require pet owners to pay a pet deposit, which is a refundable fee that covers any damages caused by the pet. The amount of the deposit varies, but it’s typically several hundred dollars.
  • Monthly Pet Rent: In addition to the pet deposit, some landlords also charge a monthly pet rent. This fee can range from $25 to $100 per month.
  • Pet Behavior: Your lease will likely contain provisions about pet behavior. These provisions may prohibit certain behaviors, such as barking, scratching, or biting. They may also require you to keep your pet on a leash when you’re outside.
  • Pet Waste: Your lease will likely require you to clean up your pet’s waste. This means picking up after your dog when you’re outside and disposing of the waste properly.

If you’re unsure about any of the terms in your lease, it’s essential to talk to your landlord before you get a dog. This will help you avoid any problems down the road.

Handling Situations Where Your Landlord Wants to Evict You for Having a Dog

If your landlord tries to evict you for having a dog, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Review Your Lease: The first step is to review your lease carefully. Make sure you understand the terms of the lease and that you’re not violating any of the provisions.
  2. Talk to Your Landlord: Once you’ve reviewed your lease, you should talk to your landlord and explain why you have a dog. You can provide documentation, such as a doctor’s note, explaining why you need a pet.
  3. File a Complaint with the Landlord and Tenant Board: If you’ve spoken to your landlord and they’re still refusing to allow you to have a dog, you can file a complaint with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Board will hold a hearing to decide whether or not your landlord has the right to evict you.

It’s essential to note that the process of evicting a tenant can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore, it’s in both the landlord’s and the tenant’s best interests to resolve the issue amicably.

Table: Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Pets

Landlord’s RightsLandlord’s Responsibilities
Set pet policies and restrictionsProvide written notice of pet policies and restrictions
Charge a pet deposit and/or monthly pet rentProvide a safe and habitable living environment for all tenants
Evict a tenant for violating the terms of the leaseAccommodate tenants with disabilities who need service or emotional support animals

Fair Housing Laws and Pet Policies

Landlords have the right to set pet policies for their rental properties, but these policies cannot discriminate against tenants based on protected characteristics, including disability.

Fair Housing Laws

  • The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.
  • The FHA makes it illegal for landlords to refuse to rent to or evict tenants because they have a disability-related need for an assistance animal.

For example, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant who is blind and uses a guide dog, or to a tenant who has a psychiatric disability and relies on an emotional support animal for comfort and support.

Pet Policies

  • Landlords may have pet policies that restrict the types of pets that are allowed, the number of pets that a tenant can have, or the size of pets that are allowed.
  • These policies must be applied consistently to all tenants, regardless of their disability status.

For example, a landlord may have a policy that prohibits dogs weighing more than 25 pounds, but this policy must be applied to all tenants, regardless of whether they have a disability-related need for a larger dog.

Examples of Pet Policies
No pets allowedYesThis policy discriminates against tenants with disabilities who need assistance animals.
Dogs onlyNoThis policy is not discriminatory, as it applies to all tenants equally.
No pets over 25 poundsNoThis policy is not discriminatory, as it applies to all tenants equally.


Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on their disability, including their need for an assistance animal. Pet policies must be applied consistently to all tenants, regardless of their disability status. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your disability, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

How to Handle Situations When Your Landlord Doesn’t Allow Pets

If you’re a pet owner, the thought of being kicked out of your rental home because of your furry friend can be terrifying. While landlords have the right to set rules about pets in their properties, there are steps you can take to negotiate with them and potentially keep your pet.

Negotiating with Your Landlord About Pets

  • Be Polite and Respectful: Approach your landlord with a polite and respectful attitude. Explain that you understand their concerns about pets but would like to discuss the possibility of keeping your pet.
  • Highlight Your Pet’s Positive Attributes: Describe how well-behaved and well-trained your pet is. You can even offer to provide references from previous landlords or neighbors who can attest to your pet’s good behavior.
  • Propose a Pet Deposit or Additional Rent: To ease your landlord’s concerns about potential damage caused by your pet, consider offering to pay a pet deposit or an additional monthly rent in exchange for being allowed to keep your pet.
  • Suggest a Trial Period: Offer to have your pet on a trial basis for a certain period. This way, your landlord can see firsthand how well-behaved your pet is and make a more informed decision about whether to allow pets in the future.
  • Create a Pet Agreement: If your landlord is receptive to the idea of allowing pets, create a written pet agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of keeping your pet in the rental property.

Additional Tips for Dealing with Pet Restrictions

In addition to negotiating with your landlord, there are other steps you can take to deal with pet restrictions:

  • Research Local Tenant Rights: Familiarize yourself with your local tenant rights and laws regarding pets. Some areas have laws that protect tenants from being evicted solely because of their pets.
  • Look for Pet-Friendly Rentals: If you’re unable to convince your landlord to allow pets, start looking for pet-friendly rentals in your area. Many landlords are open to renting to tenants with pets, so you have options.
  • Consider a Different Type of Pet: If you’re having trouble finding a rental that allows dogs, consider getting a different type of pet, such as a cat, fish, or small bird. These pets are often more accepted by landlords.
Comparison of Strategies for Dealing with Pet Restrictions
Negotiate with Landlord– May allow you to keep your pet
– Can maintain your current living situation
– Landlord may not be open to negotiation
– May require additional fees or deposits
Look for Pet-Friendly Rentals– High chance of finding a suitable rental
– Can avoid the hassle of negotiating with your landlord
– May have limited options in your area
– May be more expensive than non-pet-friendly rentals
Consider a Different Type of Pet– Most landlords allow certain types of pets
– May be easier to find a pet-friendly rental
– May not be the pet you originally wanted
– May require adjustments to your lifestyle

Dealing with pet restrictions can be challenging, but with careful planning and negotiation, you can increase your chances of finding a rental that allows pets or convincing your landlord to make an exception for your furry friend.

Well, there you have it, folks! I hope this article has shed some light on the topic of whether or not your landlord can kick you out for having a dog. As you can see, the answer is not always straightforward, and it depends on a number of factors, including your lease agreement, local laws, and the specific circumstances of your situation. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to check with your landlord or an attorney to get specific advice. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit again later for more informative and entertaining articles!