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Help! I need to confess to my landlord. I have a dog!

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
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Member Since
11/10/2011
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 10:45am PST 
Good day all.
My family and I live in rented accomidation and have lived at the same address for over four years. 18 months ago we got Indie, our beautiful german shepherd. However, I didn't tell our landlord as we never see them. We have no regular visits or checkups.
But I really need to tell them as there is some work that needs carrying out.
i need advice on what I should say, or rather how I should say it. Sounds silly but i don't really want to be looking for a new home.
Any advice would be most appriciated.
Cheers
Richie
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 11:00am PST 
If your apartment is pet friendly, then you need to approach and apologize about not having alerted the landlords to it earlier/back pay pet deposits/additional pet rent, if any.

If your apartment if not pet friendly, then you need to start looking for pet-friendly accommodations.
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 11:49am PST 
I'm guessing this is a rented house, not apartment, if they've had the dog for so long without anyone seeing. Just a guess, I could be wrong, but I think it would be hard to hide a German Shepherd in an apartment complex.

I think all you can do is be honest and apologize for not letting him know sooner. Hopefully after four years of consistent rent-paying and lack of property damage, he might be willing to accommodate you in order to not have to find a new renter. Really good house renters who take good care of a place and always pay on time are not too common (My grandpa has rental properties and it's been an nightmare.) Tell him you WILL leave if you can't keep the dog.

If Indy is well-behaved and trained, I suggest getting him CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certified through the AKC. That shows that you have a trained dog who is safe in public, it might help your case here.
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 11:53am PST 
oh, that's true. you can rent a house, lol. we're renting a house.

but still, if the house was originally listed as "not pet friendly", you need to make plans to look elsewhere. check your original rent contract?
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 12:36pm PST 
It all depends on what your lease states. Where I live, folks are VERY serious about no pets, dogs in particular are hardly allowed anywhere. Usually it's ironclad and specific right in the lease. So the choice is re-home the pet or move upon discovery. Or get evicted with the animal.

I would try speaking to your landlord. If you can prove no damage has been done yet, the animal is well-trained, you can try to use your good tenant history in your favor. If the landlord agrees that you can keep the dog there, make sure you can amend the lease. Get it in writing that you agree to pay any possible damages, and your landlord agrees to let 'pets considered on a case by case basis' be added to the lease. That covers them if they have any other properties they don't allow pets/dogs in. Seek legal advice for your specific area. Good luck!
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 12:59pm PST 
I realize this is going to sound rude but as a landlord I feel it should be said.

This was an incredibly irresponsible thing to do. When you live in/on someone else's house/property you are required to live according to the lease agreement, a legal document. If your lease has a specific no pet clause in it and you/your family signed it then you are breaking a legal agreement which puts you at risk for eviction. And since you brought a pet into the living environment without an OK you should be prepared to be asked to vacate due to breech of contract.

Since I assume you send your rent payment to your landlord as well as know how to contact him to do the repairs you want I see NO EXCUSE for not contacting them sooner except possible fear that they would not allow you to keep the dog. Never seeing your landlord is simply a crappy excuse for not requesting the OK to bring a dog into the house. As a responsible renter and pet owner you should have contacted the landlord by phone or mail to get an OK AS WELL AS potentially signing a new lease with pet OK written into it.

HOWEVER since you did not do the responsible thing over a year ago you should not be surprised if the landlord feels you have broken their trust and asks you to leave. In the same situation I (as a landlord) would be incredibly upset and may seek new tenants.

I would contact your landlord immedietely with the greatest respect and sufficient remorse for breaking the contract and hope that you have otherwise been a very good tenant and are "worth it" for them to keep in their property.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 12:59pm PST 
NOM NOM NOM *eats double post*

Edited by author Thu Nov 10, '11 1:02pm PST

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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 1:06pm PST 
I agree Leah.
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Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 5:15pm PST 
If I were you, I would write the landlord a letter explaining the situation, outline as follows, and send it a few days before the work on the house will begin:
1) You failed to tell him that you got a dog, and you are sorry for breaching your agreement and damaging his trust. (Don't make excuses about never seeing him, as excuses will just make you look bad.)
2) However, the dog is very well-behaved and has not caused any damage, and he is free to have a look around the property to verify this when he comes to do work on the house.
3) Even though the dog is very well behaved, you have purchased renter's insurance with bite liability insurance for the dog to limit any possible liability as a result of dog ownership. (Do this now, if you haven't already.)
4) If there are carpets, you are willing to pay a non-refundable deposit that will cover carpet steam cleaning when you have moved out.
5) You really love living in this property, have enjoyed a good tenant-landlord relationship so far. Sorry again for possibly damaging that trust, and hope to be able to work out an agreement so that you may continue to live there with the dog.

But, start pricing other options in case you do get evicted. Good luck!
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Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 6:01pm PST 
read your lease very carefully!

I live in a pet friendly house and am allowed my two dogs. BUT if I were to bring a third in and were caught several things can happen. I have 72 hours to get rid of the pet, I can be assessed damages, or I could be evicted. I've already been told-they don't evict the humans, they evict the dog and hold the tenant responsible for completely out the lease.


Also, sadly you have a GSD. In many areas these are considered 'aggressive' and therefore not allowed no matter what. If you are renting a house, that homeowner still carries insurance and in some areas it is too expensive to have that insurance if they allow people with certain breeds to live there. That is, if they can get insurance period. They might have chosen to not be pet friendly due to trying to insure the house, if this is the case, you might be 100% out of luck.
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