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Re: Co-op eviction: violation of non-existant lease clause

Posted by Anna on July 14, 1999 at 11:24:22:

In Reply to: Co-op eviction posted by Ryan on July 11, 1999 at 13:01:12:

: I recently bought a coop in Jackson heights, Queens. Prior to buying the coop we received 4 separate copies of the "house rules". None of these documents had any rule against having a pet. During our approval meeting with the board, they told us that pets are fine except for dogs. After the sale, I reviewed the proprietary lease and there is nothing in that document that mentions pets. There is nothing in it that says we can't have a dog. We still bought the coop and a couple months later we wanted to bring in a dog. We finally did and now a week later, the board has served us with a "20-day notice of termination". They are saying we are in default of our lease and that if we don't get rid of the dog by the end of the month they will start proceedings to take the apartment from us. Can they do this even though the rule was never written down in the house rules or in our proprietary lease? If anyone knows, please post a message ASAP. We are also going to try to find a lawyer to help us in this matter.


First: the basic rule of law is: you can't alter a written contract (lease) of greater than one year ORALLY, or, if there is/was no written clause/house rule/etc forbidding the dog, they can't legally do it.

Second: try to stay out of court: call the lawyer you used when you purchased the shares: if s/he should at least be able to write a strong letter to the board and/or recommend a good litigator.

Third: do some more research: there are lots of messages in these archives and Housing Court Decisions on Tenant.Net about pets or lease clauses. (They notified you within the time limits of the NYS Pet Law, so many msgs and decisions won't apply to your case: look instead for breach of lease, violation of lease clause, etc)

ps: is your dog the only pet/dog in the building?

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