Denver, CO asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado

Q: I have an apartment lease which stipulates certain breads of dogs considered dangerous and not allowed.

There are many dogs on that list now living in my complex. The office says the owners of those dog’s presented documents claiming the dogs are “emotional support “ animals and they are required to accept them. How is this not a breech of my lease which prohibits such dogs? Thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Joseph Larranaga
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: In many circumstances federal and state law trumps contract law. Contract law must live in the legal framework setup by both the state and federal governments. A personal contract typically cannot supersede a state or federal law unless the law allows itself to be superseded.

If a contract clause contradicts state or federal law it may be seen as invalid. I would imagine, the landlords are making exceptions for these dogs out of fear that if they don't that they will run afoul of a state or federal law. I do not handle disability law. You may want to talk to a disability lawyer on if the medical designation of a dog as an emotional support dog requires a landlord's to make exceptions. If not, then your landlord may be breaching their own policy.

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