I have problem with my landloard requirement. We rent a house 2 weeks ago from Barfood. And the advertisement said pets

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Customer: Hi I have problem with my landloard requirement. We rent a house 2 weeks ago from Barfood. And the advertisement said pets available (not negotiable). And the hosue is with a big backyard. That's why I decided to rent this house because I always wanna have dog. During we first viewing the house, I double checked it is OK for pets as long as I informed them in advance.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: I adopted a dog(Husky) and would pick her up on 27th Nov. I told the agency today. And she contacted the landlord then landlord said he did not allow a big dog. It is from Barfoot thanks
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: It's one year fixed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: and if we dont rent this house anymore they will charge us breach lease fee
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 17 mins 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Jessica

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Good Day!A few minutes please as I review your question so I can provide you with legal information. Thanks!

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

What state is this please?

Customer
in Auckland
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I'm sorry -this is the US; let me have this reclassified.

Customer
Oh...OK...So you website can't help with this right?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi

I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please wait while I read the question so I can make the most useful response

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you were told that pets were permitted, but with no other restrictions, then the landlord cannot tell you that the dog which you have adopted is too big. You have a valid tenancy agreement, and the landlord cannot now tell you that you are not allowed to keep the dog

Customer
Thank you Chris. The property we rent is from Barfoot. The agreement said Pets Permitted: Yes. I can not find other restirctions on my paper. And during the conversation we had with the agency before, we were only told that we had to inform them if we had a pet. We didn't get any oral or writting documents of restriction.
Customer
should I just tell them it is illegal?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You can just ignore what you were told. If they complain, then you can say that pets are permitted and that there is no restriction. If the landlord makes a fuss, then tell him he should take this matter to the tenancy Tribunal but that you have taken legal advice that you are not restricted by the terms of the contract on the size of dog

Customer
That's really gald to here. I can keep my daughter finally. Thank you so much!
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I hope this works out without too much bother

Customer
Thank you so much. You have good day!
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Thank you for the reply and for using this site. You may ask further questions or rate this answer when you are ready.

Customer
Hi Chris, Thanks for your counseling today. I just told Barfoot your reply today. And the agency was really pissed off and said they would take us to tribunal if I brought my dog home. I don't quite know about the tribunal. Could you tell me about how much it will cost and how much chance we are gonna win?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It does not cost you anything to go to the Tribunal and you do not need a lawyer to go there. The legal position is still as i set it out-they said pets are permitted without details so they cannot now impose a size condition. I do not think the Tribunal will be sympathetic to the landlord

Customer
They did say that we need to inform them before they came to check the property( every 3 months) if we would have a pet. So I adopted the dog first then told them. And I sent the puppy picture to the Barfoot agency and she got a no no reply from the landlord.
Customer
Sorry I made a mistake before. It's like the advertisement on Trademe said pets are negotiable
Customer
However from my agreement I can't find any resitriction. What will happen if I bring my puppy back and tribunal's decision is on the landlord's favor?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You would need to rehome the dog. But I think you have a good chance of getting a decision supporting you

Customer
OK, thank you! So even the advertisement on Trademe said pets negotiable but my agreement is pets Yes without condition, I still got good chance to support me?
Will there be any extra fee or charges from the Tribunal besides rehoming the dog?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The tribunal would not award costs against you if you lose on this type of claim

Customer
OK... To be honest. We rent this house mostly for having a pet because the house has a huge backyard which is good for dogs. I understand landlord may have concerns that dog may damage the house, so we offer that we can riase her outside the house and put a dog house and fence for her. But they still say no. I am so sad. Anyway so appreciate your advise and help
Customer
I am just so worried about it as I just saw a Barfoot standard brochure that comes with our contract which I don't know if it is part of the contract saying: Pets are not permitted, so please check with your portfolio Manager if the rental agreement permits them before you get a pet.
Otberwise you may be breaking the rental agreement rules and run the risk it will be terminated. Any early termination costs will be passed onto you.
Some properties may allow certain pets, for example cats or birds. While others may even stipulate what size pets will be permitted, such as small dogs. This is especially commonplace when living an apartment.
Customer
The Residential tenancy agreement we signed is only one paper with 2 pages. And on this paper the only thing about pets is Pets Permitted: Yes
Customer
I am now confused whether it is on condition or not
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

What is important is the tenancy agreement. If that says yes to pets then this pamphlet is not part of the contract and means nothing
Customer
This really comforts me a lot. Cheers
Customer
Hi Chris, sorry to bother you again. I just got a notice letter from the agency Barfoot as below
"Thanks for sending request to have a Husky in your renting property at***** Avondale.I been forward your request to the owner of the property but unfortunately she declined your request.She appreciated your showing respect to the house owner, ask for permission before you take action. But she can not accept a Husky in her property.Please do not take the Husky back to the house without permission from the owner/ property manager.She understand you might want to terminate your fixed term tenancy because of the dog but she would need to see the written notice.Please send us a written notice if you would like to apply to terminate the fixed term tenancy, I will forward the notice to owner once I receive it.Once owner approved your application to leave the property, you will be requested to pay for break lease fee, we will send you an invoice once we received your notice.After we received the break lease fee, we will start the marketing process to find new tenants for this property. Your rent will be paid to day before new tenants moved in.Please let me know if you have questions"
How could I response? Could you please give me some legal advise?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Your next step depends on whether you want to stay in the property with the the dog. As I explained, your tenancy agreement permitted pets without any further details. So you have at present a binding tenancy agreement which permits this. If you stand your ground, you may however develop a bad relationship with the landlord, so any refusal will no doubt cause a problem, in that you may have to go to the Tenancy Tribunal to argue this. So your choices are to stand your ground, or give the dog back, or if want to keep the dog, to break the lease (which will come at some cost) If you go to the tribunal to see if you can keep the dog, then if you win, you will be able to stay there. If you lose you would need to choose to leave the property with the dog or give the dog away and stay there

Customer
Got it. I am trying to upload the agreement. Could you check it for me please?
Customer
There is no place for our signature. But the agency has signed it
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That is clear-you can keep a pet and there is no restriction

Customer
Thank you so much Chris! You are so kind and professional.
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