Chief Mascot Officer (CMO)
Trooper joined us in the summer of 2020 and was quickly promoted to CMO in 2021. He continues the tradition of prior office mascots, Handsome Dan, the Yale bulldog and Rhett, the B.U. terrier. Trooper has a degree in booty-shaking and is proficient in the complete Microsoft Office Suite. He has urged the entire office to follow his legal philosophy, your bark should be worse than your bite. He is a constant source of inspiration to staff, reminding us that every dog has its day. A tireless client advocate, he encourages attorneys to give clients a long leash to take charge of the direction of their cases. In his few spare moments when not supervising staff or chewing rugs, Trooper assists George, the little bulldog, organizing the Penske file. In the evening, Trooper enjoys reading the New York Times, where he has been known to submit a comment or two to stories about doggie issues, some of which spawn interesting dialog. Because Trooper is aware that on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Quite a provocative puppy!
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ASK REAL ESTATE
I’m on a Monthly Lease. Can My Landlord Suddenly Evict Me and My Dog?
By Ronda Kaysen
May 14, 2022
Q: My wife and I have rented an apartment in a three-family house in Queens, N.Y., for the past decade. Whenever our son is on rotation in the U.S. military, we dog sit his golden retriever. Our original lease gave us permission to do this, but it expired years ago and we’ve been on a month-to-month agreement ever since. We are now dog sitting again. The other day, the landlord told me that the building allowed dogs only under 20 pounds, even though our original lease did not include weight restrictions. (Other tenants in the building have dogs, though theirs are smaller than ours.) The landlord then told me that we could move out at any time. Can he really evict us?
A: Your position is precarious because you are living on a month-to-month rental agreement. Your landlord could decide to end it at any time — with proper notice — as long as his actions are not discriminatory. In your case, he could terminate the lease with 90 days of notice, under New York law. So, if he decides he’s had enough of bigger dogs in the building, even if the original lease allows pet-sitting, you could lose the apartment, according to Darryl M. Vernon, a real estate lawyer who represents people with companion animals.
But hope is not lost. Your landlord does allow dogs under certain circumstances. “They may be able to work this out,” Mr. Vernon said.
If size is the issue, the landlord may be concerned about safety. Since this particular dog has lived in the building from time to time (presumably without incident), you can speak from experience about his behavior and temperament.
Ask your landlord to have a conversation about the dog and your lease terms. Explain that your son is a serviceman away for a period of time and that the dog has been well behaved in the past. Address the size concerns directly, asking how you could mitigate the landlord’s concerns. For example, you could agree to keep a distance from other tenants and pets. If you can get the landlord to agree to this, ask for a new one- or two-year lease that includes these terms.
But if the landlord does not budge, your son may need to find other arrangements for his dog, or you and your wife risk losing the apartment.
Interesting question, probably wrong answer. The tenants are not really tenants-at-will. Since they had an initial lease that allowed dogs, but the lease has expired, they are technically hold-over tenants. Not tenants at will. While you would need to read the lease as to what terms and conditions continue from the original lease in a hold-over situation, New York courts have held that original terms and conditions continue, in which case these tenants could keep the dog. See New York City v. Pennsylvania R. Co. 333 N.E.2d 361 (1975)
Robert commented. @Trooper Kelman This is a commercial case from 1975. It might or might not apply to a residential tenancy in 2022.
In commented. @Trooper Kelman I agree. Tenants keep the dog. Then LL undoubtedly will give the tenants a 90-day notice to vacate and commence a summary holdover eviction proceeding if tenants fail to vacate at the end of the 90-day period.
John commented @Trooper Kelman they could keep the dog. The landlord could also end their tenancy, with the proper notice, if they choose to keep the dog. A holdover tenant is still there on a month to month basis, so while they may be able to keep the dog while they’re still in the building, the landlord can tell them he won’t rent to them any longer and evict if they refuse to leave, dog or no dog.