Can my landlord actually do this? We need help?

Hello guys,

I need some help here. We currently live and are renting in a condominium/apartment here in Ontario for over 10 years now. Is a weird townhouse-style apartment where the hallways ("skywalk") is outside and every apartment is like a small house with a little vestibule in between the screen door and apartment door; measuring around 3ft x 6ft

Last year towards the end of the year we got a german shepherd puppy. Being a puppy, she does puppy things but she's well behaved. Recently about a few months ago a neighbour of ours has been making comments, smart remarks, and causing issues by aggravating our dog with his own. He's been purposely going by us and our dog so she would bark at him and the dog and then he'll make snarky and rude comments. Recently we found out that our dog likes to sit in this vestibule area and lay down and watch the people outside. She does not bark or causes any trouble to anyone walking by, not even me if I'm coming home. Ever since this man has noticed he would purposely walk by our unit if the door is open and he would stand there, purposely upsetting our dog. We contacted the police and they spoke to him saying he needs to stay away and use a different elevator, there is 4 total, two he can take. The other elevator is actually closer for him and he chooses this one. We then told the landlord and they said that our dog cannot be in that area because it is a "common area". 

14 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    They may be able to do that, yes. Common areas of condos are clearly defined, ask hi to see the bylaws, that will explain.

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  • 1 month ago

    You have a right to use the common area.  However, keep your dog out of it for a while, perhaps a week, until the troublemaker goes away, stops looking and bothering your dog.  When he stops doing it, because your dog isn't there anymore, then let your dog sit there again.  However, and I'm not sure of the setup, but if other people have access to the dog and you do not, because your door is closed, then the dog should not be there, not without your supervision.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Regardless of opionons on where the dog can and should not be the best way to handle this is to keep her inside and close your door so this bothersome person can't do anything to provoke her. This avoids having it escalate.

    If the landlord says the area you're referring to as a vestibule is a common area it's a common, public, area. Dogs have to be leashed in public areas. You have to respect what the landlord tells you and do as they wish.

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  • 1 month ago

    Look, your neighbor might be a jerk, but if a problem comes up, as it has, the landlord can decide that your dog can't be in the common area. You'd better move your dog inside. That should solve all problems, except that your neighbor is still a jerk, but hopefully a jerk that won't bother your dog anymore.

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  • Ann
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Keep your dog out of the common area and take some dog classes so you can learn to keep your dog socialized and trained

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  • 1 month ago

    Sure!  If any area of an apartment /condo/townhouse complex is considered a common area and should be accessible to any tenant, then you can't allow your dog to use is as their private sitting area.  As your post proves, it is possible that your dog could become agitated or aggressive if someone approached.

    If the area is NOT one where another person (neighbor, delivery person, etc.) would have to enter in order to reach your door, that would be different, but from your description it seems that the only way to reach your door is to go through this vestibule area.  

    As much as you don't agree, the reality is that you are using a common area as an extension of your townhouse.  Even a well behaved German Shepard can be dangerous if provoked or surprised. Keep the dog inside unless you want more trouble with your landlord.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The police actually told this guy he can't use the elevator of his choice?    That's nuts.

    "She does not bark or causes any trouble to anyone walking by"  That's not at all true and you know it.   There is at least one other resident that she barks at when all he's doing is walking by.

    "Recently we found out that our dog likes to sit in this vestibule area and lay down and watch the people outside."   How did you find out?   Did someone tell you?  If yes, then she's obviously doing something to let people know she's there.  

    If you're leaving your dog unattended in a vestibule where she can misbehave and bother other people unbeknownst to you, you are at fault.    Not only that, you're allowing your dog to learn bad habits.   Supervise her so you can nip that behavior in the bud.   When you can't supervise her, you don't leave her with access to the vestibule.

    ETA:   If you don't leave her unattended and she "never" barks, what is your question?   You're inventing a problem where there is none.    But by your own admission, she does bark at at least one person that you know of.

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    • Casey Y
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      You cannot test her behavior in your absence by sitting down next to her...  

      The cops may recommend he take another route, but they cannot compel him to do so.  

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  • DEBS
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    That's a long story to ask if that small area is actually a common area or not. You need to sort that out with the lease you signed. If it is indeed a common area, then the landlord needs to be sweeping and maintaining it on a regular basis just like the rest of the complex. Does he do that?

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    • DEBS
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      @Casey From how it was described, it sounds like only this one person has issues and is purposely trying to cause problems.  IF that is the entire story, then I'm not sure 'able to walk home without interference' is really relevant.  Again and always, we only hear one angle.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You are not going to be evicted over it. The landlord just is not going to do anything to the neighbor it sounds like.

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    • Never
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      I guess anything is possible Does not seem likely. Landlords want the rent paid on time and the place not trashed.

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  • Yes they can, because it is a common area

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    • Casey Y
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      I dont know about cause for eviction...

      He can provoke your dog all he wants, where or why would that be illegal?  As long as he isnt entering your premises...

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