Saturday, April 30, 2011

Your Credit Rights in the State of Texas

When renting an apartment, the landlord requests your credit report. Understanding what that entails can be tough. The Austin Tenants' Council printed the following article that will help you understand what credit is and why it is important.

The credit reporting industry is complicated and can be difficult to understand. Many businesses, including the housing industry, use information found on credit reports. Landlords use credit information most often in the application process to decide whether to lease a property to a tenant. Landlords may report unpaid debts, such as if a tenant breaks a lease and leaves owing money, to credit bureaus. The landlord may also report money owed for property damages. It is legal for landlords to use credit information for these purposes, but there are laws governing credit reporting. This brochure attempts to explain the basics of credit reporting so that a tenant will know what rights are provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other laws and how to enforce those rights.

Credit Reports
Credit bureaus, also called credit reporting agencies, gather information about people’s credit history and then sell that information to many different businesses. The major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit information is used by banks, finance companies, insurance companies, employers, merchants, and, of course, landlords. Different businesses use credit information for different purposes. Banks, for instance, want to know if a person will repay a loan, while insurance companies use credit information to determine whether to issue a policy, and even how much that policy will cost. Landlords, on the other hand, want to know how a tenant has handled credit in the past to see if the tenant is a “good” credit risk. They are trying to find a responsible tenant who will pay the rent and fulfill the lease contract.

Three basic types of information are collected by credit bureaus: personal statistics, account information, and legal records. Personal statistics include name, address (past and present), Social Security number, and employment information. When changes of address and employment are listed on a credit application or given to a creditor, this information is reported to credit bureaus.

Account information is the heart of the credit record. It lists debts and how those debts are being paid. Account information covers accounts currently being paid, accounts that have gone to collection, and any charges being disputed.

Credit records are not limited to debt information. They may include legal records of judgments, tax liens, marriages, divorces, arrests, convictions, and other public records. Credit records may seem comprehensive, almost frighteningly so. However, credit records do not necessarily contain all credit information.

Large corporations such as national department stores and banks, along with major credit card companies like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express report information on a regular basis. Smaller creditors such as furniture stores, auto dealers, and gasoline stations may report credit information only if the account becomes past due. This is also true for most management companies and landlords. Therefore, neither all bad credit nor all good credit will necessarily be on a person’s credit record. Furthermore, credit records are not always correct.

Checking Your Credit Record
A tenant is entitled and encouraged to check the information listed at the various credit bureaus to make sure this information is correct. Each credit bureau may have different information listed on its report so it is wise to request a copy of your credit record from each bureau. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Mistakes are often made and will not be corrected unless the consumer discovers the errors and follows the necessary procedures to remove them. If a person is denied credit or denied an apartment because of information supplied by a credit bureau, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the creditor (i.e. the landlord) to give the name and address of the credit bureau that supplied the information. If a consumer contacts the credit bureau within 60 days of the denial and requests a copy of the credit information, the credit bureau must supply this information free of charge.

If a consumer has not been recently denied credit or is unaware of any inaccurate information on his credit record, then the credit bureau may charge a fee, not to exceed $8, for the information. The credit bureau is required to disclose all information found in a consumer’s file, except for the person’s overall credit score, risk score, or predictors. Creditors use these evaluations of a credit record as an easy tool to interpret the credit risk of an individual. The credit bureau must enclose with every request a “Summary of Rights” and a comprehensive statement of consumer rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Correcting Inaccurate Credit Information
If inaccurate information is found on a consumer’s credit record, that person has the right to have that information investigated free of charge. The first step is to dispute the debt by sending evidence that the debt in question is incorrect. Once inaccurate information is disputed both the credit bureau and the creditor have 30 days to investigate the debt. However, the deadline is extended to 45 days if the consumer provides additional relevant information after the initial notice of dispute. Once the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must notify a consumer within five days of the results. Any inaccuracies must be corrected if the debt is to remain. The bureau must also provide the following information in writing:

  1. A statement that the investigation is complete;
  2. A revised consumer report;
  3. Notification that a description of the investigation procedures the bureau used will be supplied within 15 days if it is requested. This information includes the name, address, and telephone number of the creditor who furnished the information;
  4. Notification of the right to add a statement disputing the debt to the file; and
  5. Notification that the consumer can require the credit bureau to notify previous users of disputed information.

If the credit bureau investigates the dispute but concludes that the information is correct, the debt will remain on the credit record. But, the debt claim can still be fought. A brief written statement — not to exceed 100 words — explaining why the debt is disputed can be filed with the credit bureau. The credit bureau must include this statement whenever it releases the credit record. Creditors and landlords will then know that this is not just a debt that has not been paid, but a debt that may not be valid.

If a creditor tries to reinsert deleted information, it must certify to the credit bureau that the information is complete and accurate. If that information is reinserted, the bureau must notify the consumer, in writing, within five business days:

  1. That the disputed information has been reinserted;
  2. Of the name, address, and phone number of the furnisher of the information (if reasonably available);
  3. That the consumer has the right to add a statement to the file about the disputed information; and
  4. The consumer’s right to require the bureau to notify previous users of disputed information.

A credit bureau may stop an investigation if it finds the consumer’s dispute to be frivolous or irrelevant, including a lack of sufficient information in the request. That bureau is required to notify the consumer of its decision to and the reason for the termination of an investigation.

Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act by a credit bureau can result in it being held liable for any actual financial losses that result from the violation, punitive damages if imposed by a court, and reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees. Furthermore, the creditor can also be held liable for failing to participate in the resolution of a disputed debt.

How Long Will Bad Debts Be on a Credit Record?
Most negative information, disputed or not, will not remain on a credit record forever. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that a credit bureau can report negative information for only seven years in most cases. However, the seven years begins from either the date of the last regularly scheduled payment or 180 days from the date of the delinquency if it is placed for collection, charged to profit, or other similar actions. Not all debts are subject to the seven-year rule. Bankruptcies, for instance, can be reported for 10 years, and tax liens can remain for seven years after the date they are paid. Furthermore, if you apply for more than $150,000 of credit; apply for a job paying $75,000 or more; or apply for a life insurance policy with a face value of $150,000 or more, negative credit information can be reported indefinitely.

There is no magical way to remove negative information from a credit record if the information is correct. Anyone who advertises that he can clean credit records can do nothing more than individuals can do for themselves. Some “credit repair” companies or “credit clinics” use the Fair Credit Reporting Act to remove legitimate debts from a credit record. Usually this is accomplished by sending multiple requests for verification of a debt, and if the credit bureau does not verify the debt within a reasonable amount of time, it must be removed. However, the credit bureau can reinstate that debt if it can be verified later.

The only way to get a legitimate debt off of a credit record is to convince the creditor to remove it. This can sometimes be accomplished by working out a payment plan so that as long as payments are being made on the debt, it will not be reported. Another solution is to negotiate a lump sum payment that may be less than the original amount. Old debts are generally worth less to the creditor than recent ones. The creditor may feel that getting something is better than nothing and will settle for less. If any agreements are made, they should be made in writing and signed before any payments are made. Otherwise, the creditor can simply apply the amount paid to the debt and continue to report it. A tenant may want to contact legitimate credit assistance agencies, such as Consumer Credit Counseling, to assist in the process of “repairing” bad credit.

Debt Collection
Sometimes negotiation does not work, and the creditor demands the debt be paid. Besides reporting the debt to credit bureaus, creditors can also contact the debtor (the one who OWES) directly, file suit against the debtor, and/or engage a collection agency to collect the debt. Bill collectors may begin contacting the debtor by mail and by phone. While tenants have the legal obligation to repay creditors, they also have protection against certain undesirable collection practices. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that a collection agency, not the creditor, cease all collection contacts if requested to do so in writing by the debtor. A debtor does not lose this protection no matter how delinquent the bills.

There is also a Texas Debt Collection Law. The following are just some of the practices that the Texas Debt Collection Act makes illegal.

Threats or Coercion

  • A creditor uses or threatens to use violence or other criminal means against you or your property to collect a debt.
  • A creditor contacts a third person, such as your employer or a relative and tells him that you are refusing to pay a non-disputed debt, when in reality the debt is disputed and you have notified the creditor in writing of the dispute.
  • A creditor threatens that he can have you arrested without proper court proceedings for failure to pay a debt.
  • A creditor tells you that he will file criminal charges against you, when in fact, you have not violated any criminal law.
  • A creditor falsely threatens that after your account is assigned to a collection company, you will no longer be protected by the law and will no longer have a legal defense to the claim.

Harassment or Abuse

  • Using profane or obscene language or language that is intended to unreasonably abuse the hearer or the reader.
  • Placing telephone calls without disclosing who is making the call and with a willful intent to harass a person at the called number.
  • Causing a telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously or making repeated and continuous telephone calls with the willful intent to harass any person at the called number.
  • Causing expense to any person in the form of long distance charges for any telephone calls without first disclosing the name of the person making the call.

Unfair or Unconscionable Means

  • No debt collector may collect or attempt to collect any interest, fee, charge, or expense unless such additional payment is authorized in a prior agreement signed by the debtor.

Fraudulent, Deceptive, or Misleading Representation

  • Using any name other than the true business name of the debt collector.
  • Falsely representing that the debt collector has something of value for the consumer to solicit or discover information about the consumer.
  • Misrepresenting the character, extent, or the amount of a debt or misrepresenting its status in any judicial or governmental proceeding.
  • Using a written communication that simulates or falsely represents to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by a court, an official, or a government agency.
  • Using any communication which purports to be from any attorney or law firm, when, in fact, it is not.

Deceptive Use of Credit Bureau Name

  • No person may claim to be functioning as a credit bureau or retail merchants association unless that person is in fact engaged in gathering, recording, and disseminating BOTH favorable and unfavorable credit or financial information to prospective creditors for use in the decision making process regarding the extension of credit.

Penalties
Violation of any of the provisions of the Texas Debt Collection Act is a misdemeanor. Such a misdemeanor charge must be filed within one year of the alleged violation.

Any person may seek relief for actual damages or to prevent or restrain a violation of the act. If the person who brings the suit wins, that person will also be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees. However, if the court finds a claim was brought for harassment or in bad faith, the defendant shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees.

A violation of the Texas Debt Collection Act is also a deceptive trade practice and is actionable under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act as well as the Texas Debt Collection Act.

Seeking Enforcement
If you believe you have been the victim of an unfair debt collection practice, you may file a civil suit in court, which usually requires representation by an attorney, or may file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Once the complaint form and its attachments — or supporting evidence, such as contracts, letters, checks, and receipts — are received in duplicate, the complaint will be reviewed. Never send originals. You should always send copies, keeping the originals for your own files.

First, the Texas Attorney General’s Office (AG) determines if it has jurisdiction to process the complaint. If it does not, the complainant will be referred to the proper agency. If the AG decides to investigate the complaint, it will be done for free. Predicting how long this process will take is impossible. Much depends upon the size of the AG’s current caseload. However, the first step — filing a complaint — is the most important. The AG often looks for a pattern of violations. If no one ever files, it is certain that nothing will be done.

When making the written complaint, be thorough, accurate, and concise. A copy of the completed complaint form will be sent to the person or firm against whom the complaint is filed. The complaint form provides an area where the consumer can describe what he feels would be a reasonable and fair solution to the problem. Give this issue some careful thought. The claim may be mediated and a settlement may be offered based on these suggestions.

The information in this brochure is a summary of the subject and other pertinent matters. It should not be considered conclusive or a substitute for legal advice. Unique facts can render broad statements inapplicable. Anyone needing legal assistance should contact an attorney

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fact Vs. Fiction




The following is from the Austin Tenants' Council brochure covering Myths of Renting.

Tenants and landlords often make decisions based on long-standing assumptions which often turn out to be inaccurate. The results can be costly. The following information is provided to demonstrate the importance of getting accurate information before making decisions about rental housing in Austin and in Texas. The information is general in nature and should not be considered complete or a substitute for legal advice.

For tenants to protect their rights as much as possible, the Austin Tenants’ Council recommends the following procedures in making decisions concerning leases and rental properties:

1. Before signing a lease always READ THE LEASE CAREFULLY and assume that you are liable for all terms of the lease unless you agree otherwise IN WRITING. Verbal agreements are usually not enforceable, and most leases say that verbal agreements will not change the written lease. Get all agreements in writing and have both parties sign it. Someone who won’t sign a written agreement possibly has no intention of keeping it.
2. To clarify specific points and procedures that may be covered in the Texas Property Code, call the Austin Tenants’ Council or seek legal advice before taking any action.

Myths About Leasing
Myth: A landlord or manager must return a deposit to hold an apartment if the tenant decides not to take it.
Truth: Many application agreements allow the landlord to keep the entire deposit if the tenant is approved and then the tenant decides not to sign the lease. Even if there is no written agreement about the deposit, the landlord or manager may be entitled to reimbursement for expenses after taking the property off the market, including advertising and lost rent.

Myth: A tenant has three days after signing a lease to cancel it without penalty sometimes called “buyer’s remorse.”
Truth: Texas has no “buyer’s remorse” law for leases. A lease becomes binding as soon as it is signed.

Myth: A tenant can move out if the landlord fails to meet one or more obligations outlined in the lease.
Truth: Generally, the lease remains in force and the tenant continues to be liable under the terms of the lease agreement until a court rules otherwise.

Myth: There is a limitation on the amount the rent can be raised at the end of the lease.
Truth: Texas has no “rent control” laws that limit the amount of rent increases.

Myth: A signed lease is not valid until a deposit is paid or until the tenant moves into the property.
Truth: Even if the landlord never receives rent and the tenant never moves in, the tenant is liable under the lease once it is signed.

Myths About Repairs
Myth: A tenant may withhold rent if the landlord fails to make repairs.
Truth: A tenant’s withholding of rent is seen as retaliation, and the tenant risks eviction and may forfeit certain rights under the law.

Myth: A tenant may simply break the lease without liability if the landlord fails to make any repair within the time specified in the lease.
Truth: State law outlines specific procedures that must be followed by a tenant requesting repairs before the tenant is able to terminate a lease for the landlord’s failure to make the repairs. Failure to follow these procedures may result in the tenant being liable to the landlord for damages.

Myth: The landlord must provide air conditioning equipment for the tenant.
Truth: If such equipment is not in the property when the tenant takes possession, the landlord is not required to provide it unless it is agreed between the parties beforehand, preferably in writing.

Myths About Eviction
Myth: The eviction process takes at least a month.
Truth: A tenant can be evicted in as little as two weeks.

Myth: A landlord may simply remove the tenant’s belongings in the event the tenant fails to vacate by the date specified by the landlord in the notice to vacate.
Truth: Landlords are not permitted by law to remove belongings from an apartment except in the case of abandonment or when exercising a landlord’s lien. Otherwise, a landlord may remove belongings only after an eviction judgment rendered by the justice of the peace court and then only under the supervision of the sheriff or constable.

Myth: The landlord must always give a 30-day notice to vacate the property before evicting the tenant.
Truth: The law requires 72 hours notice for eviction for breach of the lease, prior to the filing of an eviction lawsuit, unless the lease waives that right and provides for a different notice period such as 24 hours.

Myth: If the tenant has been late paying the rent, then the landlord cannot evict the tenant if the tenant later pays the rent in full.
Truth: In many cases, the landlord can proceed with eviction even if the rent is paid in full after the tenant falls behind in rent.

Myth: A landlord must evict noisy neighbors under a clause in the lease.
Truth: Although most leases include such a clause, it gives the landlord the right to evict but does not require eviction.

Myths About Terminating a Lease
Myth: The landlord must have a reason for not renewing a lease.
Truth: Either the landlord or tenant may terminate a lease at the end of the term without any reason, except in low-income housing tax credit properties. In these properties, the landlord must have good cause to terminate the lease. The landlord may not refuse to renew a lease in retaliation for the tenant having requested repairs within the previous six months or for reasons grounded in illegal discrimination. In the case of termination at the end of the lease, notice is for the same length of time as the rental payment period.

Myth: If a tenant breaks a lease, the tenant will only lose the deposit.
Truth: Whether it’s mentioned in the lease or not and unless the landlord agrees otherwise in writing, the tenant will be liable for any damages incurred by the landlord because of the tenant’s breach and for all the monthly payments during the term of the lease as long as the property is not re-rented.

Myth: A tenant may move out and break a lease if the tenant suffers losses or anguish due to lack of security, robberies, or break-ins.
Truth: Breaking a lease under these circumstances can be risky. The law requires landlords to provide locks for windows and doors. Although a tenant may terminate a lease if the landlord commits a substantial breach of the lease, the tenant runs the risk of a court holding that the breach was not so substantial as to justify termination by the tenant.

A tenant would also have grounds to move early if the landlord misrepresented security or crime and the tenant relied on the landlord’s representations in deciding to rent the unit. However, if the landlord sued the tenant for the breach of the lease, the tenant would have to prove that the landlord had misrepresented the property. If a court decided that the landlord had properly represented the property, the landlord might prevail.

Myths About Deposits
Myth: The landlord must put a security deposit into an escrow account which is transferred to a new owner if the property is sold.
Truth: No Texas law requires landlords to put deposit money into an escrow account, and there is no automatic transfer of security deposits to new owners. However, the landlord who purchases a property is still responsible for the return of the deposits to the tenants.

Myth: The tenant will automatically receive three times the security deposit amount plus $100 if the landlord fails to return the deposit exactly within 30 days.
Truth: While the law states a tenant may recover those amounts, a tenant will only receive more than the amount of the security deposit if a court finds the landlord acted in bad faith.

Other Myths
Myth: The landlord is responsible for repair or replacement of the tenant’s belongings in the event of damage by water, fire, smoke, tornado, etc.
Truth: Unless the landlord can be proven negligent in the situation or the lease says otherwise, the landlord is not responsible for costs related to repair or replacement of damaged items. Tenants may want to purchase renters’ insurance for personal belongings.

Myth: If a tenant is behind in rent, the landlord may not confiscate items in the tenant’s apartment until the landlord files for an eviction or goes to court.
Truth: If the tenant’s lease includes a provision for a landlord’s lien or a contractual lien and the provision is either underlined or in conspicuous bold print, then the landlord has the right to enter the tenant’s residence (unless the tenant refuses entry) and remove nonexempt items (for example TV, stereo, VCR) that the tenant owns at any time after the tenant falls behind in rent.

The landlord of an apartment complex that receives housing tax credits is prohibited from liening a tenant’s property except by judicial process unless the tenant has abandoned the premises.

Myth: A landlord can lock a tenant out of an apartment until the tenant pays delinquent rent.
Truth: The landlord may change the lock on a tenant’s door if 1) the lease includes a written lockout provision and 2) after giving advance written notice. The landlord must give advance written notice at least three days prior to the lockout if the notice is hand-delivered or at least five days prior if the notice is sent by regular mail. After the lockout, the landlord must leave a note stating in either underlined or conspicuous bold print where and from whom the tenant may obtain a key at any hour and that the tenant is entitled to a new key regardless of whether the delinquent rent is paid or not.

The landlord of an apartment complex that receives housing tax credits is prohibited from locking out or threatening to lock out a tenant.

Myth: The landlord has no right to enter the tenant’s apartment at any time without the tenant’s permission.
Truth: Most leases make provision for the landlord to enter an apartment without express permission of the tenant. The landlord may enter, however, only in accordance with the terms of the lease.

The information in this brochure is a summary of the subject and other pertinent matters. It should not be considered conclusive or a substitute for legal advice. Unique facts can render broad statements inapplicable. Anyone needing legal assistance should contact an attorney.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

TAA Lease Overview


Ever wondered what your lease is saying? Watching this video provided by the Texas Apartment Association, can help you understand what you are signing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fair Housing




When renting it is illegal to be discriminated against. The Austin Tenants Council published an article in their Spring 2010 addressing the issue and providing support to those who have been discriminated.

“Discrimination based on how you look, the religion you practice, or because you have children or are disabled is illegal and unacceptable,” said John Trasviña, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “In the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April 1968, President Johnson moved for passage of the Fair Housing Act to bring the nation forward and together. Since then, we have made progress but there remains work to be done. It is time to act.”
Trasviña gave the keynote address at “New Beginnings,” a conference presented by the City of Austin Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office to recognize Fair Housing Month, celebrated each April. Eighty-five attorneys, housing investigators, civil rights advocates, public and private housing landlords, and officials from the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development attended the seminar. Settlements from fair housing conciliation agreements allowed ATC to send nine lawyers who participate in its Cooperating Attorney Referral Program to the training. Nekesha Phoenix, ATC Fair Housing Program Director, and Mary Daniels Dulan, executive director of the Metropolitan Fair Housing Council of Oklahoma City, presented a fair housing case update.
Trasviña recognized Austin as a national leader in protecting the rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT). Federal law does not prohibit discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity; however, the City of Austin’s Fair Housing Ordinance has made it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation for more than a decade and gender identity since 2004.
Federal policies need to adjust to the 21st century notion of family, Trasviña stated. HUD is preparing to conduct a first-ever national assessment of housing discrimination against members of the LGBT community and is seeking suggestions from the public on how best to execute the study (to leave feedback, visit http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/LGBT_Discrimination_Study/comments). In addition, three bills are pending in Congress that seek to expand the federal Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. “No one should have to hide their identity,” Trasviña said, to secure a place to live.
Assistant Secretary John Trasviña visited Austin during Fair Housing Month and met with ATC’s Morgan Morrison; Katherine Stark; and Nekesha Phoenix.
For the past two decades, the City of Austin has awarded Community Development Block Grant funding to the Austin Tenants’ Council to administer its tenant-landlord programs and services. The CDBG program was enacted in 1974 to provide grants to eligible communities across the country to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities to low- and moderate-income individuals.
On April 9, the City and ATC recognized National CDBG Week and Fair Housing Month. “Our partnership with the Austin Tenants’ Council is crucial, particularly in our community where the majority of residents are renters,” said Margaret Shaw, director of Neighborhood Housing and Community Development. Elizabeth Granados, whose landlord refused to fix the hot water and a shattered sliding glass door, encouraged other tenants to contact ATC at 474-1961 for assistance."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Renting 101 Course from TAA



The Texas Apartment Association provides a free education class online called Renting 101. If you need more information on renting, or are deciding if renting is right for you, taking this class will be helpful!

Free First-Time Renter Education Program

Choosing your home is one of the most important economic decisions you will make. The Texas Apartment Association Education Foundation’s free Renting 101 course takes first-time renters through all aspects of the housing decision.

  • Decide whether renting is the right choice for you
  • Pick up valuable tools and tips to help make your renting experience easy and even fun
  • Understand the rental process
  • Save time and potentially even money with what you learn
  • Learn at your own pace, online
  • Receive a customized rental blueprint to use during your housing search
  • Absolutely free

Renting 101 is an in-depth online education course designed to help first-time renters select, lease, and live responsibly in rental housing. It’s not, however, designed for quick questions.

If you are looking for quick information, you’ll want to first check out the other information in the Renter Information section of this site.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Renting With Restrictive Breeds? Aggressive Breeds?….Canines vs. Apartment Communities



While Austin is considered one of the most pet friendly cities in the nation, a lot of Austin apartment and town home communities still have a restrictive breeds list that an apartment will not allow on the property. This list usually includes the majority of what are considered “aggressive breed” canines. Whether you agree with it or not, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit bulls, and German Shepherds seem to be on most lists.

Let me stress that this is very property specific. Some properties will take a German Shepherd but not a Rottweiler. Some properties even have Labs on their restrictive breeds list because of the size the Lab can get to be. He may be a 30 lb puppy when you move in, but he/she could grow to well over 60 lbs in the first year which may put the puppy over the weight limit! It is extremely important to let your apartment locator know what breed of dog you have and how much he or she weighs so that they don’t recommend apartment communities that will not accept your pet.

Properties have these restrictions for the safe and comfort of the community, not because they don’t like your dog. Some apartments that on are on fence as to whether they will allow a specific breed, might have you furnish pet references as to the character of your dog, a letter from your vet, or even conduct a pet interview where the management has a chance to meet the dog in person before deciding whether it will be allow on the property.