Showing posts with label landlords. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landlords. Show all posts

Saturday 24 February 2024

Landlord-imposed pet restrictions in the United States are widespread

Young man and his dog companion. Image: Nathan Winograd.

OPINION: Nathan Winograd, American's great animal shelter expert and advocate, tells me the following about landlord-imposed pet restrictions in America,
In a nationwide survey of landlords, approximately 47% of rental housing did not allow pets and only 9% of pet-friendly units allowed pets without limitations on type or size. Large dogs were welcome in only 11% of rental housing. Meanwhile, pet-friendly rentals had a 20 to 30% rent premium, costing on average $222 more per month than rentals that did not allow pets.” In some cities, the situation is worse: more than half of all rental units in Los Angeles did not allow any pets at all. In one survey, “only 212 out of 612 apartment listings allowed dogs.
The California legislature is debating a bill called AB 1226 which would prohibit no pet clauses in landlord tenancy agreements i.e. rental agreements between the landlord and a tenant. 

The politicians are working out the drafting of the legislation. Winograd says that it is sorely needed because stopping tenants having pets in their apartments negatively impacts adoptions, it increases the relinquishment of companion animals to shelters and causes animal homelessness as well as people homelessness. 

It also results in wasteful expenditure as those that rent properties must pay a premium for housing which allows them to live with their companion animals.

Winograd's No Kill Advocacy centre has, for a very long time, called for "state and federal legislation to ban housing discrimination for families with animal companions."

The landlords and others who are against this kind of legislation are apparently concerned about "allergies, noise and property damage" when companion animals live with renters. 

Comment: but these concerns which are not entirely unjustified can be dealt with with a properly drafted agreement between landlord and renter and by taking an added deposit which would cover any damage to the property when the renter leaves.

Also, leases always contain a clause concerning "quiet enjoyment" which would encompass a dog barking. Neighbours have recourse under the lease and/or under the rental agreement which would refer to the lease to reinforce good behaviour.

I know that it is not great having to enforce good behaviour but if it's made abundantly clear to the person renting that they have to comply with certain strict terms of their agreement and the lease then they are reasonably likely to comply with those terms provided the individual is vetted properly.

Landlords who allow pets open the door to far more clients and therefore their business is likely to be more profitable and it is said that they pet owners are often long-term tenants resulting in less 'voids' -  reduced vacancy rates.

In general, Americans are overwhelmingly in support of allowing animals in residential properties.

Winograd refers to a "housing discrimination ban" nationwide i.e. a federal law which "will allow over 8 million additional animals to find new homes yearly, roughly ten years of killing". 

Allowing pets in landlord owned homes reduces the number of dogs and cats killed at animal shelters.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

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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