Texas is introducing restrictions on what landlords can financially impose on tenants with pets

The Texas legislature is debating a bill - a proposed law - which would restrict what landlords can demand from their tenants if they are pet owners. Essentially, it limits what landlords can include in the landlord-to-tenant agreement which is normally some kind of lease.

An apartment for a cat owner
An apartment for a cat owner! Image: MikeB at PoC.

If the bill passes the legislature and is signed off by the governor the legislation “would allow landlords to either cap a monthly pet fee at $20 or collect a one-time refundable pet deposit at the outset of someone’s lease. However, the proposal would prevent them from doing both.”. 

Nathan Winograd, perhaps America's greatest animal advocate currently, says that this sort of legislation is long overdue "as is an outright ban on housing discrimination for families that include an animal companion" to use his words.

At this time, I do not have any more information about this change in Texas's legislation but clearly it is great news because arguably there is an undersupply of accommodation for tenants who live with a companion animal. It can be a great barrier for these people. 

There are many excellent people who can't afford to purchase their own property and therefore have to rent who are in effect barred from adopting a companion animal. Or, they have to give up their existing companion animal when they move into rented accommodation.

This is one reason why cats and dogs are relinquished to animal shelters which is unacceptable. Landlords have always had the ability to protect their interests when letting their accommodation to pet owning tenants. 

They can simply increase the deposit to pay for any damage by a companion animal and they can adjust the terms and conditions of the agreement which makes the retention of that deposit when the tenant leaves more likely. The new legislation restricts the financial imposition applied by landlords on tenants with pets

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