Mammoth Lakes, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can I sue my CA landlord for charging me a 10% increase in rent and additional security deposit for my reg. service dog?

We live in a severe housing crisis area where local supply for housing is very scarce and extremely difficult to find. We had no other option but to accept the increase otherwise be homeless. Our original rent was supposed to be $3000 a month with a $6000 deposit. After learning of the service animals, he required $3300 a month and a $9000 deposit. We then begged for some understanding and reduced the deposit to $8000… clearly stating the dogs were service animals and not pets. He did this after we were sent the original lease and then we mentioned sending the certificates of the service dogs and he then raised all the amounts.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A landlord cannot charge you extra pet fees for a service animal. In addition, a landlord can only charge two months' worth of rent for a deposit, unless the house is furnished. Therefore, the charging of $9,000 or $8,000 would likely be illegal.

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