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Attorneys Declare Concern for Pets

By Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman

In response to Darryl M. Vernon’s letter (Oct. 3, page 2) discussing our Leasing Dinosaur article (October, page 4), we wish to point out that Mr. Vernon is correctly renowned as a pet case defense attorney. However, in his last sentence, complaining of out purported lack of concerns for animals, he fails to take into account out firm’s defenses of pets as well. The pets are the unfortunate pawns in these games between landlords and tenants. If both sides were consistently to act in good faith, there would be neither anything to argue about not anything to litigate on this issue.

The simple fact is that neither the New York City Council nor the New York State Legislature have made pet acceptance mandatory in rental housing. Therefore, pet owners must, when acting in good faith, inquire whether they are entering a pet friendly building. If they either fail to make sure inquiry or sneak the pet in., the death of the pet resulting from their bad faith is clearly their fault, not the fault either of the landlord or of the lease drafter.

Mr. Vernon is mistaken when he says that we are hostile to the City Pet ordinance. We are not. But we are hostile to sneaks, on both sides of the landlord-tenant equation. The lease clause we wrote is an attempt to get people to deal honestly with each other and in the end can wind up saving the lives of many pets in the process.


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