Know when ‘house rules’ violate lease

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Q: As a property manager, I am under contract with an owner to advertise and show his single-family rental. I recently chose new tenants and signed the lease. Since then, the owner has sent the tenants a nonsmoking policy, specifying that if any guests smoke on the property, it will constitute a violation of the lease and can result in termination. He is also demanding proof that their dog is current on vaccinations; a statement from their vet that the dog is current on monthly flea and tick medicine; and a copy of their renters insurance policy. He's also issued detailed cleaning instructions, including a demand that the air conditioner and heater filters be cleaned or replaced every month. Can he do this? --Chris B. A: Your owner appears to be a little confused as to the meaning of a lease: It's a contract that binds both sides to its terms, as written. If one party to the lease wants to change or add to those terms, it must get the OK from the other party. Unless everyo...