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Johnsons

Tenant found to have unauthorized pet- now claims is service animal.

7 posts in this topic

We rent out two bedrooms in our condo. We reside in the third bedroom. We have a 13 yr old pit bull who loves people but hates other dogs. Because of this, we have a strict no pets policy in our lease. One of our current tenents, after residing here for 4 months, was found to have a puppy living with them. After found, they admitted that they have had the dogs for months (though not at move-in). As this is a direct violation of their lease and causes an unsafe environment for our dog, we moved to evict them. They come back stating that it was illegal to evict them and that the dog could stay because it’s a service dog. They are also claiming it’s illegal for us to ask for proof that it’s a service dog. I can’t believe that a landlords hands would just be completely tied in a situation like this. We are new landlords so don’t know how everything works, admittedly. But we don’t want to keep our dog locked up for the rest of their lease just to ensure he doesn’t see it some day, attack it, and then have them take action against us and have our dog put down. What can we do to get them out or, at the very least, get the dog out? 

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29 minutes ago, Johnsons said:

we moved to evict them.

 

What does that mean?

 

Did you file in court and serve them a summons and complaint or just give them written notice of termination of tenancy for cause in accordance with the Oregon landlord tenant statute?

 

37 minutes ago, Johnsons said:

They come back stating that it was illegal to evict them and that the dog could stay because it’s a service dog. They are also claiming it’s illegal for us to ask for proof that it’s a service dog.

 

Never take legal advice from the enemy.

 

37 minutes ago, Johnsons said:

What can we do to get them out or, at the very least, get the dog out? 

 

Hire a lawyer. You obviously have no clue how to handle this.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

 

What does that mean?

 

Did you file in court and serve them a summons and complaint or just give them written notice of termination of tenancy for cause in accordance with the Oregon landlord tenant statute?

We gave them written notice of termination.

15 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

 

Never take legal advice from the enemy.

 

Obviously. Which is why I came here first. For direction and to get basic questions answered. As is the purpose of this site. 

15 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

Hire a lawyer. You obviously have no clue how to handle this.

Hadn’t thought of that- thanks! 

15 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Johnsons said:

Which is why I came here first. For direction and to get basic questions answered. As is the purpose of this site. 

Actually, this is a legal discussion board, not a source for advice or direction.  No one here is your lawyer.

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7 hours ago, Johnsons said:

We rent out two bedrooms in our condo. We reside in the third bedroom. We have a 13 yr old pit bull who loves people but hates other dogs. Because of this, we have a strict no pets policy in our lease. One of our current tenents, after residing here for 4 months, was found to have a puppy living with them. After found, they admitted that they have had the dogs for months (though not at move-in). As this is a direct violation of their lease and causes an unsafe environment for our dog, we moved to evict them. They come back stating that it was illegal to evict them and that the dog could stay because it’s a service dog. They are also claiming it’s illegal for us to ask for proof that it’s a service dog. I can’t believe that a landlords hands would just be completely tied in a situation like this. We are new landlords so don’t know how everything works, admittedly. But we don’t want to keep our dog locked up for the rest of their lease just to ensure he doesn’t see it some day, attack it, and then have them take action against us and have our dog put down. What can we do to get them out or, at the very least, get the dog out? 

 

The good news for you is that the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not appear to apply to you. While the FHA applies to most housing, it excludes owner-occupied housing that contains no more than four units. You rent out only two bedrooms and live in the third, so you appear to have only three "units" in your building. If the FHA does not apply to you then you do not need to comply with the FHA rules on assistance animals. As far as I can tell from a quick search Oregon does not have a law that provides rights for a service or assistance animal in housing situations, but you will want to check that with an Oregon attorney who practices in the area of housing law. If no Oregon law applies here, then your lease would be enforceable regardless of whether the animal really is a service animal. After consulting the attorney you may wish to inform the tenant that the FHA does not cover your rental situation and thus the tenant has no right to have a service/assistance animal in your place. 

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On 1/12/2019 at 9:47 AM, RetiredinVA said:

Actually, this is a legal discussion board, not a source for advice or direction.  No one here is your lawyer.

Not asking anyone to be my lawyer. Asking for basic info. If you do not have the info, or are not inclined to provide it, why waste everybody’s time by commenting on this thread? 

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