Pit bulls get the boot in lease renewal

Rent it Right

Q: We rent a cottage behind our landlord’s house. We have two pit bull dogs that are there with the landlord’s consent, and we have a lease that’s up in a few months. Although the dogs have caused no problems, the landlord has told us that he’s "not comfortable" with them on the property, and that if we want to renew our lease, we’ll have to sign one that has a "no pets" clause. We think he just wants us out so he can offer the cottage to his son. Is there anything we can do? –Betty and Fred

A: Your landlord is a bit confused (about the law and possibly about your dogs). If he wants to use the rental for his son (or anyone else, or to leave it vacant, for that matter), he can simply decline to offer you another lease and tell you to leave when your lease term is up. He need not give you a reason: Any reason he might have (other than a discriminatory or retaliatory one) will support his decision.