Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dogs, Shmogs

I've just sent a Notice to Cease to the tenants in P1b (the 2BR) informing them that they no longer have permission to keep dogs in the apartment. Naively, when they were first moving and told me they had two dogs, I didn't question them as thoroughly as I should have. It turns out that the dogs have a history of viciousness (although the tenants assured me that they did not before signing the lease). I found out this week that they have a history not just in the town where I'm a landlord, but also in adjacent ones. Luckily, I made them sign an addendum to the lease which gives me the authority to revoke permission if they break any other clause of the pet agreement. Because they are in violation of this agreement, I just sent out the Notice to Cease yesterday, so it looks like the next few weeks will be interesting.

Until last week, I had only received relatively minor complaints. Over Memorial Day weekend things changed when the police were called three times for noise complaints. Later that week a neighbor called the town's animal control to report abuse, and found out that the dogs have a history of viciousness. One particularly disturbing encounter involved the dogs running around the neighborhood terrorizing people. Eventually, several state police officers showed up, were chased, and were preparing to shoot the dogs when the animal control officer arrived and instead tranquilized them.

The other person who is apparently familiar with these dogs is the town's mayor, who was aware of an incident where they had attacked a guy's face. When I spoke with him, he explained (like my lawyer, and others) that the speed with which I can get rid of these tenants depends mainly on the quality of my lease. Luckily, the clauses appear to be tight enough to allow me to request that the dogs get removed, otherwise I can (and will) evict.

Now I just have to wait to see what happens next.

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