Tenant says landlord is evicting his dog even though it’s never been violent


‘If he’s not gone…then we’re evicted’: Tenant says landlord is evicting his dog even though it’s never been violent. Is that allowed?

‘Make him an emotional support animal.’


Jack Alban


D.C.-based TikToker Diego (@traveling.gay) has a pet conundrum—his building wants to evict his dog, despite the fact that his Rottweiler has never been physically aggressive to anyone.

Diego says that the worst thing his dog, Moose, has done was what one user who replied to his video called a “rottie rumble”: A little growl that was never accompanied by any other type of aggressive behavior.

He posted about his conundrum in a viral video that’s accrued over 377,000 views as of Friday.

A landlord’s request

“I’m in actual disbelief,” he begins in his clip. “We just got a letter from leasing that our dog is being evicted. Our dog is being evicted. It has been a problem for like two months because the dog is a rottweiler and sometimes he growls at people but he is, he doesn’t mean harm.”

Diego goes on to say his dog is the “sweetest,” showing several pictures of his rottweiler—the first is of him outdoors looking towards the camera. The second is him eyeing a cup of what appears to be whipped cream topped with a bone-shaped dog treat.

“He’s so cute. He’s so nice. They told us we have to be gone by July 17th,” the TikToker says, stopping mid-sentence to clarify that no humans are being evicted from the apartment building—only a canine.

“If he’s not gone by July 17th then we’re evicted by July 17th,” he says.

Toward the end of his video, Diego asks for help from other users: “Has anyone else experienced this, what did you do? Because he’s like the nicest dog ever I’m gonna show you,” he says before the clip transitions to him walking over to his bed, where his pup is currently hiding under.

@traveling.gay TIKTOK HELP ME AND MOOSE PLEASE #eviction #apartment #rottweiler ♬ original sound – traveling.gay

The creator emphasizes his pet has “never physically assaulted anyone,” so he doesn’t understand why he’s got to go.

Is it allowed?

The first obvious issue is whether the building in question has a “no pets” policy listed in the lease or any weight limits therein. According to this NJ.gov housing information packet, if a “no pets” clause isn’t listed in the tenant’s signed agreement, then requiring a resident’s pet to be removed from the premises can be contested. The same packet also states that the only instances property management can request a pet be removed from the premises is if the animal is posing a risk to other residents, if tenants aren’t properly caring for the animal, including adequate waste removal and other similar factors.

Although the document pertains to a particular set of living quarters in the state of New Jersey, it appears that other states, such as New York, abide by similar rules. The law offices of Zingman & Associates PLLC write that there are even instances where buildings that don’t have pet policies still can’t deny a resident access to a building if they have a service animal.

Rentec Direct also addressed “unauthorized pets” inside of a unit, which states that if the tenant in question is in violation of a “no pets” policy, or isn’t paying additional rental fees for said pets that were listed inside of their rental agreement, then the leasing company can legally evict a pet.

In an Avvo.com forum post, one person shared their own pet/rental situation anecdote, stating that their landlord wanted them to get rid of a 25lb dog because they didn’t want other tenants in the facility to see the pet and get one of their own. However, there isn’t any signage in the building that indicates pets aren’t allowed, nor is there a “no pets” policy in their complex.

One attorney responded to their query stating that while they should be in the clear to legally have their pup, if they want to continue living inside of the building it’s probably best that they reach some kind of agreement with their landlord in order to keep living in the building without worry or potential headaches: “Your lease controls this issue. If there is no mention of pets, then you can have the dog. However, if you want to continue leasing there, I would try to work something out with your landlord.”

In his most recent video (as of this writing) posted about the subject, Diego stated that he will continue to fight leasing on the issue.

@traveling.gay thank you for all the love, we are going to fight this! theres no way we are giving up the sweetest boy ever #rottweiler ♬ Rally House – prod. DTM

The Daily Dot has reached out to TG via TikTok comment for further information.

Update June 29, 2024:

In an email to the Daily Dot, Diego clarified that there were no policies against specific types of dog breeds, only a limit on the number of pets per unit, and that all of his pets are registered as Emotional Support Animals.

“They did not really provide any further context, or incident reports/ happenings,” he shared. “They are being vague and we are waiting for a response on them to show actual proof of aggression… as there is none.”

He cited an incident where a resident heard the Rottweiler’s rumble and screamed at Diego to get rid of the dog, which led to Diego having to use a muzzle on his pet as per the building’s request.

“We have complied with the muzzle notice, but leasing said they have seen him without a muzzle… which is also not true,” Diego said. “This is the dog’s 5th apartment complex that he has lived in. He has never attacked anyone, and is very often in public spaces, as we live in the city.”

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot