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Thread: I've been straight up lied to by my landlord

  1. #1

    Default I've been straight up lied to by my landlord

    And I cannot remember the last time I've felt so livid.

    Me and a few other friends needed a good place to lease near work, so we roomed up together. Months before finding anywhere specific, we decided we wanted a dog. So, that narrowed places down to like, 3 choices, 2 of which were awfully kept. So, we arranged multiple meetings with our leaser, and every time we asked about the pet policy. Now, here's where I screwed up. Because the policy had been explained to me in depth multiple times, I didn't really read the section on pets. And now I'm kicking myself for it.

    The cragslist ad said pets were allowed. The leaser explained the policy multiple times. The previous tenants HAD A CAT. BUT, apparently the lease says no pets allowed.

    I emailed the company (not the leaser, as I was instructed) for a list of banned dogs to double check. After waiting 5 days, I just get an email that basically says, yeah you don't get pets, have a nice day. I text our leaser, who forwards me to some other random guy. He, at least, gets back to me promptly, but says the same thing. I tell him the above. He then sends me a screenshot of the section on pets; nothing else. I haven't heard from him since.

    Granted, I haven't texted my leaser again yet. Maybe she just legitimately didn't know the policy changed, and would be willing to come to a written agreement with me, which, as stated in the lease, can override it. And I know this is mostly my fault for not reading every square inch of that lease, but I can't help but feel a little used... especially after the leaser insisted we do the signing meeting as quickly as possible because she had kids to go home to or whatever she said, AFTER SHE SCREWED UP THE MEETING LOCATION. Also didn't give us a copy till we moved in. "Yeah, we don't give out copies to tenants until move in day." Bullshit, pretty sure it's law that I have access to it, but I was so frustrated that day and didn't push.

    Sorry for that. TL;DR: Read the fine print. Landlords are either incompetent or deceitful until proven otherwise.

    EDIT: I've looked this post over, but please tell me if I accidentally gave any specifics on people. Would rather not publicly condemn these guys... I've tried to be as courteous as possible, but damn I needed to vent.

  2. #2


    My best advice is that you should get legal advice! Landlord-tenant law should be regulated where you live so you should start off by contacting the appropriate government department to learn your rights and responsibilities. Laws differ in each jurisdiction so what applies to one area may not apply to another. In general, leases can only be enforced if they are compliant with the legislation, and if the law is silent on the matter of 'no pets' or if it voids the lease requirement, then it doesn't matter if you signed a lease agreeing to it, it wouldn't be enforceable.

    For example, in my province, the legislation states tenants can only be evicted for having pets if the animal causes damage, disturbances or is a member of a prohibited species. If tenants sign a lease with a 'no pets' clause the landlord cannot enforce it nor can the landlord evict the tenant for having a pet. Again, that's how it works in my province.

    Make sure you know your legal rights before you agree to anything with the landlord.

    Certainly, do keep a copy of the ad posted on Craig's list stating that pets were okay. You can make a strong case that you were misled when you took the place and that it was a primary reason why you settled on this unit. Even if 'no pets' is clearly stipulated in the lease, there is also the contractual understanding of the agreement at the time the tenancy was entered into which may override the written lease agreement.

    I'm a little unclear about what you mean by the term "leaser." It sounds like you're either subletting or assigning the unit from a previous tenant, or you're talking about a property manager or a superintendent who acts as a rental agent for the landlord. If the 'leaser' was an agent of the landlord and she reiterated to you several times that pets were okay, then an argument could be made about the actual substance of the contract regardless of the written lease. If you confirmed several times with her that pets were okay and were then rushed into signing the lease without having adequate time to review it, then a strong case can be made that the 'no pets' provision should be unenforceable, if both parties agreed that pets were okay at the contractual stage.

    Previous tenants having pets might not mean much if it's a new policy, since new policies can only apply to incoming tenants, not the tenants who were there prior to the implementation of the policy. They are 'grandfathered' under their previous leases.

    Again, this is not legal advice, but I think these are some of the issues that need to be explored prior to making any decisions. Primarily, I think you should definitely get legal information from the government agency that administers landlord-tenant law since these laws are different in each jurisdiction or contact a community legal clinic that can offer legal advice and perhaps advocate on your behalf or plan the next steps.

    Your profile indicates you're situated in Minnesota so I'm providing a link to local legal clinics:

    Link to Minnesota Department of Housing and Urban Development:
    Last edited by Starrunner; 10-Sep-2016 at 01:38.

  3. #3


    Hey, thanks so much for all that advice! You were right about the "leaser," she acts as a representative for the company that rents the place out. I unfortunatley have no actual proof that the leaser said anything about it... The craigslist ad was taken down a while ago, before we moved in, and all of our contact regarding pets was vocal. Still, I'm going to see if i can maybe fight this. I've waited 5 years to get a dog darn it. I'm going to see what i can do with those links you gave me.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by SnowTrees View Post
    Hey, thanks so much for all that advice! You were right about the "leaser," she acts as a representative for the company that rents the place out. I unfortunatley have no actual proof that the leaser said anything about it... The craigslist ad was taken down a while ago, before we moved in, and all of our contact regarding pets was vocal. Still, I'm going to see if i can maybe fight this. I've waited 5 years to get a dog darn it. I'm going to see what i can do with those links you gave me.
    I'd start with the legal clinics. The government department that administers the legislation is usually restricted to giving information on the law itself without the interpretation, nuances, grey areas and case law required in a hearing.

    In my area, landlord-tenant hearings are held through a Board. The threshold of evidence is based on the Balance of Probability, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the burden of proof is lower than it is in some courts. If it works the same way in Minnesota, then hearsay can be admitted as evidence, so if each roommate provides clear, consistent testimony, then it would be considered, and it opens the door for the leaser to trip herself up in her own recollection of what transpired. Also if anybody else witnessed the conversations, or even if you had friends you spoke to about taking this place because it allowed pets, then they could be significant factors. This builds a pattern of evidence.

    Again, I'm only speculating, since I'm in Canada and far removed from Minnesota or any intricate knowledge of your specific laws. The only real advice I can give which is transferable is to seek out legal advice from a trusted expert in your area. A legal clinic should be able to answer your questions, and don't be afraid to get a second opinion either.

    Interestingly, in Ontario, where I'm from, landlords used to be able to refuse to evict tenants who had pets if there was a 'no pets' provision in the lease. A case was appealed at the provincial court which overturned the decision. It concerned an 89 year old senior citizen who had a seventeen year old cat named Fluffy who slept all day and was mostly blind. The court ruled that it was an unnecessary hardship to force the tenant to part with her beloved pet who wasn't causing any problems to the landlord or her neighbours. As a result, landlords can now only evict a tenant if the pet causes a disturbance, damages, an allergic reaction or is a member of a prohibited species. Throughout my experience, I've seen so many tenants whose pets were as important to them as if they were their own children.

    Hope you get your dog when this is sorted out.

  5. #5


    craigslist. That says it all.
    I wouldn't rent a place that needed to put themselves on craigslist.
    What you explain sounds a bit dubious, I haven't rented so I have no real experience, but possibly consider a lawsuit if you feel the contract was misrepresented. If you just didnt read it, then you might be out of luck.
    But if they won't let you keep a pet, then I would probably move if I really wanted a pet.

    I've lost too many to really want to get another, each one hurts more then the previous and continues to tear at my soul.

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