My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of:
I live in California. My spouse and I in July 2008 moved into a new apartment. My spouse works 7 days a week 12-16 hours a day. Our child is grown and on her own, my parents are deceased and I have no other family to speak of. I'm a stay at home partner.
When we moved into the new place in July, the owner refused to allow pets so we got rid of our dog. Towards the end of July, my spouse made me an appointment to see my doctor. I was sleeping too much and had no energy. When I went to see the doctor, he stated I was showing signs of depression. I refuse to take pills so he prescribed a companion animal.
We went and spoke with the person we had given our Chihuahua to and asked if they minded returning him to us as my companion animal. He is house broken, minds well, don’t bark, clean, and friendly to everyone. I walk him completely off the property before he uses the bathroom and I clean up after him. I took all the proper steps necessary to inform the manager and owner of my doctor's recommendation, along with providing them with information regarding companion animals.
Just recently I spoke with the owner who said he was raising my rent $200 a month because I have a dog. That's almost a 40% rent increase after just two months. He also stated that there were two other tenants with pet cats and they too were getting their rent raised (although these cats have been here long before I moved in). I explained that mine was not a pet but a companion animal. The conversation ended with the owner telling me that everyone was going to get their rent raised.
This is where my questions come in. I know the law does not allow for my rent to be increased just because I have a companion animal but if everyone is getting there rent increased does that allow for my rent to be higher than everyone else’s or does the rent increase have to be equal amongst everyone? What if no one other than me receives a rent increase? Is there anything I can do? (other than move) I know in California that the owner can raise the rent at will but can he vindictively raise mine because of my companion animal? And almost 40%?