Showing posts with label tenancy agreement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tenancy agreement. Show all posts

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

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Woman allowed 6 cats under a rental agreement but keeps 11 and is now in trouble

WEST BROMWICH, UK-NEWS AND COMMENT: Midland Heart is a company providing affordable rental housing in the Midlands, UK. It seems to me that they have generous rental agreements because they have allowed this mother, Lindsay Simcox, 43, to keep six cats in her home. I don't think many housing associations would allow that, normally. To get permission to have one cat is pretty generous and six is exceptional. Despite those terms and conditions, Simcox kept 11 cats in her home with her autistic children.

Lindsay Simcox and cat
Lindsay Simcox and cat. Photo: Birmingham Live.

When I read these stories, I become very cynical. It is hard for me to adopt a generous spirit because I think this woman is playing the system. I don't think she works and she gets benefits which probably includes housing benefit. She is clearly very obese and has breached the terms of the rental agreement very conclusively. I also think that it is impractical to have 11 cats in a small home. However, despite the large number of cats, she keeps the home clean which indicates that she is making real efforts to look after them properly which is commendable.

She says that her children benefit greatly from the presence of the cats. And it is known that autistic children can benefit from interacting with animals. The point is this: she's been told by a representative of Midland Heart that the cats have to go because he has four dogs as well! Can you imagine? She has 15 animals in what must be a small home. It is just not viable.

The housing company has threatened legal action unless she gets rid of the cats. She is desperate because her children love the cats and she doesn't want to tear them away from her kids. She is not under threat of eviction but she is under threat of legal action for an injunction i.e. a court order which states that the cats must be rehomed.

Simcock said that she was ratted-on by a neighbour who probably doesn't like her or took offence to the fact that she has so many animals in her home. They might cause a nuisance to neighbours which is likely because it is very difficult to keep 15 pets in the home without affecting neighbours in terms of smells and noise.

Comment: the cats will have to be rehomed and it probably will do them good because I don't think it is a good idea to have 11 cats banged up together in a small home like this. They may be well looked after or at least to a reasonable standard but in terms of the amount of space they have it is unsatisfactory. Although domestic cats are of course very adaptable.

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