you may serve a three-day notice to perform covenant or quit. For example, if the lease states that the tenant is to have no pets, and you discover that the tenant has a pet, a landlord would serve a three day notice to perform covenant or quit requiring the tenant to comply with the terms of the lease by removing the pet within the timeframe of the three day notice.
2. What if the tenant, after being served with a three day notice,
does not remove the animal or comply with the applicable pet
provision of the lease? At that time you could proceed to file an
unlawful detainer action in court to evict the tenant.
3. What if the tenant is permitted to keep an animal by the terms
of the lease, but the animal then bites a neighbor, or based on
complaints from tenants, it appears the animal has dangerous
tendencies? You would have two alternatives in that case. The
first would be to serve a three day notice to perform covenant
or quit on the tenant based on the fact that the tenant’s pet
is a nuisance. Most leases have provisions which require the
tenant to not disturb other tenants, or create or engage in
conduct which is a nuisance to other tenants.
You may also serve an unconditional three-day notice to quit.
Such a notice to quit may only be served in cases where a tenant is creating a nuisance or engaging in conduct which is potentially harmful to other tenants; both of these could apply to a situation where a person is keeping a dangerous animal.
Generally the decision as to which notice to use will depend on whether or not you want to allow the tenant to continue which may depend on your evaluation of the tenant’s attitude or contribution if any to the problem. Also, once you are made aware of the dangerous propensities of the animal, to reduce any possible liability, you should take immediate steps to get the tenant to remove the animal by serving the appropriate notice (and take the appropriate legal steps to evict the owner should the owner not remove the animal).
The information in this article does not contain legal advice, and use of the content in this article is at the risk of the user. The California Association of Realtors ® has more than 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Visit the C.A.R. website at www.car.org for more information on this topic.
Our next edition will publish Part 2 of this article, discussing “Service and Support Animals” in detail.