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My cat IS on the lease but my roommate THINKS she's allergic

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My cat IS on the lease but my roommate THINKS she's allergic

Postby needhelpinboston » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:58 am

I just moved into a 2 bedroom apt in Boston, MA. It is a roommate situation where we are both named on the lease as well as my cat. My roommate advertised that "pets are allowed, but would need to be discussed." The landlord let my roommate advertise and choose the roommate (that's me).
On the lease the landlord wrote in "1 cat-ok" next to the standard explanation for PETS #20 on the Standard Form Apartment Lease (Fixed terms). # 20 reads: "No dogs or other animals, birds or pets shall be kept in or upon the leased premises without the lessor's written consent, and consent so given may be revoked at any time."

I've only been here for 3 weeks yet I'm finding out my roommate seems to have a compulsive disorder whereas everything needs to be in its perfect place and she freaks out if it's not. Things were fine the first 2 weeks when I just let things go (like I put shelves in the bathroom, she moved them. I put a toaster oven on an empty area in the kitchen, she moved it to another area she thought was better, I hung a mirror in the living room, she moved it to another wall, I'm not allowed to sit on her new couch, only the one the last roommate left behind - etc...). As long as I didn't speak up, everything was fine, but I finally did ask her not to move my stuff without asking first, and for some common space to put my stuff. After that she started on everything including my cat. She's now saying she THINKS she's allergic. She hasn't gone to the doctor but said she called and gave her systems and he said she's probably allergic to the cat. She's claimed to have 2 flair ups, both times I didnt' notice watery eyes, runny nose, or any welts. And who's to say IF she had a flair up, it's not the change in weather, new soap or deodorant, or the wet paint as she has been painting in the apartment.

She also said growing up her parents had a dog that she lived with for 18 years and her parents wouldn't get rid of it even though she was allergic. Last month the family came to visit, brought the dog and they all stayed in the apartment. So that tells me, either her allergies arent' that bad and are controllable or she's just somewhat crazy....

My cat stays in my room 90% of the time and I always leave her shut in my room when I go out. I never let my cat in her room and I have never let the cat on any of the furniture except my bed. My cat hardly sheds, if at all. I explained to her that people arent' allergic to cat hair, it's the dander. I spoke to the vet and he said if I bath the cat every week then after 6-8 weeks the dander starts to go away and people with mild to medium allergies can often tollerate the cat. I'm trying to do my part but I think the girl wants not only the cat gone but me. She needs a roommate she can totally control.

To try to sum things up, she went to the landlord and said she wants the cat gone.

Do I have any legal rights, whereas she hasn't proven she's allergic. And can the landlord make me get rid of my cat because of a co-tenant dispute and it really has nothing to do with the landlord or his property as my cat has not damaged anything inside or out?
I'm in a one year lease here.....

Please .......any advise or knowledge on this would be appreciated ASAP......I'm supposed to talk to the landlord in a few days about my roommmates issue on the subject.

Thank you!
needhelpinboston
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:37 am
Location: Boston

Postby Anna » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:01 am

If you are cotenants, neither one of you can change the lease w/o the other's consent (plus LL's consent).

See if there are MA-specific details here: http://tenant.net/Other_Areas/Massachusetts/index.html

Your state gov's link:
http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/landlord.html

And search the archived forums for links to a Boston or MA tenants rights lawyer's website... http://www.tenant.net/forum/board/index.html
Anna
 
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Manhattan

Postby needhelpinboston » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:53 am

Anna,

Thanks for responding. I meet with the landlord tomorrow afternoon.

You said that if we are co-tenants (which we are) that neither can change the lease w/o the other's consent (plus LL's consent).

I'm trying to be as prepared as possible as I have no idea what the landlord's right are. I was hoping that what he wrote in next to the standard pet provision "1 cat-ok" would over-ride the standard provision saying that the "landlord can revoke consent at any time." This just doesn't seem fair when my cat hasn't done any damage to the apt or property. And my co-tenant THINKS she might be allergic but still hasn't gone to a doctor so there is no proof...

Do you have any last minute suggestions or thoughts for me, so I am prepared for this conversation with the LL?
Thanks
needhelpinboston
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:37 am
Location: Boston

Postby Anna » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:53 pm

The LL has no right to interfere in relations between you & your cotenant: LL has no right to take sides here. And, yes, LL did give written permission for your cat: whether he can revoke it would best be answerd by a Boston T-atty or Boston T-clinic advocate who can actually read it for themselves.

Why on earth does LL want this meeting anyway?

Just listen calmly to whatever is on his mind. Perhaps he just wants your cotenant to stop bothering him. LL cannot evict one of you but not the other... If one of the cotenants is willing to move out, perhaps he has another apt for you.
Anna
 
Posts: 2538
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Manhattan


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