Dogs & Laws

Sudden Dog Policy Change Has Apartment Residents Barking Mad

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Jenny Safar thought she’d found the perfect home. The Toscana at Valley Ridge Apartments in Lewisville, Texas were advertised as pet friendly and welcoming to all breeds and sizes of dogs. There’s even a nice dog park within the complex – perfect for Safar and her two Pit Bull mixes.

They’ve enjoyed a quiet, stress-free life at Toscana for three years, with no complaints. Until now.

On June 8, apartment management issued a letter to all residents listing 15 dog breeds that would no longer be allowed in the complex. The letter gave residents 60 days or until each resident’s lease has ended, whichever is first, to get rid of their dogs or move out.

The letter reads: “Please accept this as our notification that your animal does not meet our approved pet list, and that you are now asked to remove the animal from the home upon or prior to the renewal of your next lease.”

Dog breeds no longer allowed at Toscana include St. Bernard, American Staffordshire, Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, all Huskies, Alaskan Malamute, Doberman Pinscher, Chow-Chow, Presa Canario, Boxer, Dalmation, Akita, Great Dane, and Mastiff.

Given 60 days or less to find new housing that allows their dogs is problematic for many, impossible for some.

For Safar, it’s a simple decision – she would never get rid of her furkids.

“They’re my babies,” she told WFAA News. “They’ve been with me through everything.”

Other residents have hired attorneys to review the validity and legality of making such a sudden policy change without warning to renters or adequate time to find new housing.

What would you do?

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. My Pit Bull is Family helps find friendly housing for pit bulls and bully breeds! Also get your sticker today on their site or contact me today on most social media #C2CRep and http://www.facebook.com/c2crep

  2. Avatar Of Aptexprt

    AptExprt

    says:

    The owners most likely can do what they are doing legally. Most leases include provisions allowing for a change in rules effecting pet policies and community rules with a 30-60 day notice. These policies sometimes must change mid lease term for a myriad of reasons. However, what I would do is get a doctor, clergyman, social worker or the like to state that having these dogs are crucial to my emotional well-being and request a reasonable accommodation to the new pet policy. If they didn’t grant the accommodation, I would file a fair housing ADA complaint and fight the eviction in court. Good luck to these residents and their pups!

  3. Avatar Of Kspend

    kspend

    says:

    According to insurance agents the most common payouts for dog bites are Goldens , labs,and chihuahuas. ..not on the list

  4. Avatar Of T Switzer t switzer says:

    It may seem that the apartment complex has a new owner.
    The dogs listed are big dogs, but with responsible owners, these are the most sweetest and gentle of giants. My experienced with small dogs and some friendly dogs like the Labrador may bite, bark & are not too friendly.
    I would think this is a discrimination base on the breed. I hope that the apartment management can help the pet owners resolve this difficult situation they are in presently instead of kicking them out in the street & causing more homeless dogs.

  5. That doesn’t seem fair. I could see if you wanted to move into the apartment complex with those breeds that they wouldn’t rent to you, but if you already had a dog and there was no such rule how could you make existing tenants get rid of dogs or move? That is just not right.

  6. That isn’t fair. I can see that they wouldn’t rent to anyone having any of those breeds, but to make people move or get rid of their dogs who are already tenants doesn’t seem appropriate.

  7. Avatar Of Wkmtca wkmtca says:

    nope.. i would tell them that they can not change the rules mid-stream and get a lawyer..

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