Lemon Grove, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: I signed a holding agreement for an apartment I got approved. The landlord is breaking this agreement, is this illegal?

On my application, I disclosed that I have a 45 lb dog. My application was approved and I even paid and signed a holding agreement. Now I'm being told that my dog cannot move in.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ryan Hamilton Zehl
Ryan Hamilton Zehl pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: By "holding agreement," you are referring to something different than an actual lease, I assume. Even then, if you provided consideration, which could simply be a promise to pay rent and sign a lease, the holding agreement should be enforceable. And because you disclosed your dog, the landlord had actual notice and knowledge of your pet and, based on what you said, shouldn't be able to object now, having failed to do so when he or she learned of your animal. In full disclosure, I am a personal injury lawyer, but this is basic contract enforcement, which I am knowledgeable about. Back to my answer: since the subject of the contract is an apartment, you could feasibly have the holding agreement enforced by a court through "specific performance," which essentially obligates the breaching party (in this case, the landlord) to comply with the terms of the holding agreement by allowing you to move into the apartment. This would, however, require you to work with a real estate lawyer who can assist you with filing the lawsuit. I hope this helps and best of luck.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if you disclosed your dog on your application and your application was approved, the landlord may be bound by the terms of the holding agreement. Changing the terms after you've signed it without your agreement could potentially be a breach of contract. Consult with an attorney to assess your specific situation and explore potential legal remedies, such as enforcing the holding agreement or seeking damages.

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