Tenant Rights: What Happens When You Violate Landlord Rules

It can happen to anyone: You miss the fine print in your lease that reminds you that your rental does not allow you to buff your own floors, keep live chickens or sublet to strangers on Craigslist. But what you can't always anticipate is what happens if you commit one or all of those crimes and get caught in the act.

According to Jason Fuhrman, a landlord tenant attorney in New York City, there is a difference between a behavior that is a nuisance and a breach of lease. "Generally, nuisances are incurable, where breaches of the lease are [curable]," he explains. He emphasizes that "a nuisance involves repeated behavior."

In other words, one mistake with a live chicken will not necessary get you evicted. Two or more? That might get you into some trouble.

Here are a few punishments you might incur if you find yourself, for example, living with a ferret in a pet-free residence, and what you can do to avoid them before you do: