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Can I Be Evicted For Keeping a Pet in My Apartment?

If pets are prohibited by your lease agreement, most states allow your landlord to evict—but there are exceptions.


It's relatively common for leases to prohibit pets without express permission from the landlord (or even to prohibit all pets, full stop). But if you sneak one in against the rules, can you really get evicted? The answer to that question generally depends on the laws in your state—keep reading to find out the rules where you rent.

California

According to the Department of Housing and Community Development in California, a landlord can prohibit pets in your lease. If there is a pet prohibition clause in a lease that you signed, then you can be evicted for having one. The exception to this rule is if your pet is a service animal.

Illinois

In Illinois, a landlord can prohibit pets in your lease. If there is a pet prohibition clause in a lease that you signed, then you can be evicted for having a pet. The exception to this rule is if your pet is a service animal.

New York

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in New York City, a landlord can prohibit pets in your lease. If there is a pet prohibition clause in a lease that you signed, then you can be evicted for having one. The exception to this rule is if your pet is a service animal.

Texas

Most standard leases and rental agreements in Texas contain no-pets clauses. Such provisions are legal in the state, and courts generally allow a landlord to evict a tenant who acquires a pet in violation of a lease clause and refuses to give it up.

In certain situations, however, a landlord may not be able to enforce a no-pets clause if the dog (or other animal) is already living in a rental unit and:

  • The landlord tries to add a no-pets clause to an existing rental agreement
  • The landlord tries to enforce an existing no-pets clause, after knowing about but not objecting to a tenant’s dog for a significant period
  • The landlord agreed, no matter what the lease says, that the tenant could have a dog
  • The tenant can prove that keeping a dog is necessary for security or health reasons

These protections fall under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Texas Property Code. § 92.013.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.


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