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April 06, 1986|DOUGLAS RING and BUSTER SUSSMAN | Ring is a partner in the law firm of Howard, Ring & Chizever. Sussman is a free-lance writer. and

As a landlord, does it pay to listen to your tenants?

It may not only pay, it may save you money--especially if your tenants are monkeying around.

Our story concerns tenant Angela Jendralski, who was severely injured when attacked by a monkey kept by another tenant in an apartment complex.

In court, Jendralski testified that for several weeks before the incident she heard noises coming from the neighbor's apartment, including "howling, squealing and cooing," as well as "thumping, bumping and banging."

She said she told her landlord, although he denied this and also denied that he heard any excessive or unusual noises. He did concede that he heard noises, but no more than expected from the one bird that the lease permitted.

Then one day, Jendralski was invited into the neighbor's apartment and saw scores of birds, including parakeets, cockatoos, cockateels, finches, a macaw, some lovebirds and a monkey.

Evidently, the lovebirds had no effect on the monkey because it attacked Jendralski.

The landlord tried to excuse himself because he said he didn't know about the dangerous zoo in his apartment complex.

"No excuse," said the judge. "You should have known."

The judge's reasoning was that the animal collection was too noisy and had been maintained for enough time so the landlord should have known.

Moral: If you're a landlord, be alert for any kind of monkey business.

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