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Can you evict a tenant who violates a no-pet policy?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

If you are a landlord, it goes without saying that you want a tenant who pays their rent on time, is at peace with neighbors and handles your property like their own. As such, it is not uncommon to include a no-pet policy in the lease agreement. But what happens if a tenant brings a dog into the property even after signing the no-pet policy? Can you evict them?

The decision to evict a tenant on grounds of violating a no-pet policy is one that you should never make in a huff. If you do, you might be accused of discrimination, and this can land you in trouble with the law.

Understanding the law

Under California’s Fair Employment Housing Act, landlords are required to allow tenants to live with emotional support animals in their rented properties. In other words, you cannot evict or restrict a tenant because they need an emotional support animal. You also cannot require a prospective tenant to pay a pet deposit for an emotional support animal.

When can you deny a request to bring an emotional support animal into the rented property

There are instances when you can deny the tenant’s request to bring an emotional support animal into the property. Here are some of these instances:

  • When the animal is likely to cause an undue administrative and financial burden
  • When accommodating the animal would require a fundamental alteration to the property
  • When the animal poses a direct threat to other tenants’ health and safety

As a landlord, you may not discriminate against a tenant or a prospective tenant on grounds of their disability. Learning more about California and federal landlord-tenant laws can help you assert your rights and safeguard your investment when dealing with a tenant with special needs.