Tenant Didn't Prove Dog Was Emotional Support Animal

LVT Number: #30026

Landlord sued to evict tenant for keeping a dog in her apartment, in violation of a no-pet clause in tenant's lease. Tenant claimed that the dog was an emotional support animal needed for her to enjoy her use of her apartment. So, tenant argued, landlord must provide a reasonable accommodation for her disability under the New York State Human Rights Law. Tenant submitted a letter from a therapist stating that tenant was under her care in 2018 and that tenant needed the dog since she suffered from an "adjustment disorder with anxiety and unresolved grief."

The trial court found that tenant lied to the court. Tenant had informed landlord in 2013 that the dog belonged to tenant's sister and that tenant took care of the dog only every other weekend while her sister traveled for work. But landlord was notified by tenant about the dog in 2013 and did nothing for five years despite having security cameras at the building's front desk that would've given landlord information about the dog's presence. So landlord waived the right to enforce the no-pet clause by failing to take timely action to enforce the no-pet clause within three months. The case was dismissed.

Westchester Gardens LP v. Vargas: Index No. 7454/18, 2019 NY Slip Op 29058 (Civ. Ct. Bronx; 3/5/19; Weissman, J)