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What should I do about our duplex neighbor’s friendly but destructive dog?

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What should I do about our duplex neighbor’s friendly but destructive dog?

We rent a duplex. There is only 1 fence surrounding the entire house’s perimeter. We live in the front half, our neighbors live in back and have been there for some 20 odd years. They have a 5-month-old pit bull, but leave it outside for the majority of the day. It eats anything that’s on our porch, digs up our flower bed in front, jumps on us and gets us muddy after it’s been digging, poops all over our sidewalk, and it ate our internet cable attached to the wall, for which we had to get repaired. We forgive most but would really like to “use” our porch area. Legally, what are our rights?

Asked on March 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have a right to the enjoyment of your rental and the your landlord has the obligation to make sure of that.  It is called the covenant of quiet enjoyment and it is "read" in to every lease wether or not it is printed there in black and white. You need to speak with him or her about the issue and if he or she is unresponsive then you need to act.  Some advocate with holding rent.  I do not.  I  think that courts do not look favorably on the tenant in those cases.  You cn also move out but you may still owe the rent under the lease. Go to court and explain to them what is going on and ask that you be permitted to pay rent in to court until the breach is remedied or void your lease to be able to move.  Good luck. 


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