Rent it Right
In other words, you're not following through with an important rental promise, and that you are legally required to deviate from it will not stop your other renters from the legal remedies they may have -- which includes moving out.
But before you begin anticipating large-scale move-outs, consider a reality check. You're not exactly hosting a pack of wild dogs; in fact, a companion animal that is properly trained will probably be well-behaved. You are on solid ground to insist that your new tenant clean up after the dog, give it regular and appropriate exercise, always keep the dog on a leash, and so on.
If reasonable rules like this are broken -- and certainly if the dog poses a threat to others or substantially disrupts the peace and quiet of your property by nonstop barking -- you'd be within your rights to question your obligation to allow the animal to be on the property.
Although the Fair Housing Amendments Act gives persons with a disability broad rights to keep service or companion animals, these rights are not absolute. Depending on the circumstances, they may have to bend to your legitimate concern that an animal not severely disrupt the ability of others to live in peace, let alone place other tenants at risk.
Janet Portman is an attorney and managing editor at Nolo. She specializes in landlord/tenant law and is co-author of "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" and "Every Tenant's Legal Guide." She can be reached at email@example.com.
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