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Do you Own or Rent-how to persuade landlords

February 13th, 2008, 11:34 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this group, but I'm glad I found it. I am wondering how many of you own, and how many of you rent, and how has being a renter affected your pet love-life? I currently own, but will be renting and find I get met with a few negative attitudes from the No pets allowed groupies.

I am a responsible pet owner with 1 lab and two small poodles. They are all indoor dogs, and they all sleep in their preferred humans bed! They were raised in a condo and have good condo manners.

The funny thing is I am a property manager, and only three of the owners I manage rentals for will allow pets. The point being I have to tell people all day long, no pets allowed. As an agent I represent the out of state owners, and need to abide by their wishes for their property. Generally speaking people renting out their own property are much more open about allowing pets.

I am thinking of drafting my "chilanaimals" (the combination of children/animals) =) a resume with pictures to include when I make appointments to look for a rental. Any other suggestions? Has anyone faced this before and overcame the naysayers?

Glad to be part of the group!

kashtin's kin
February 14th, 2008, 12:14 AM
Welcome to this BB (it's helped me out tons :D); I'm sure you will get some helpful feed back re: the rental vs. owning etc. issue. It sounds like you have a real head start on things by actually being right in the rental field as a property manager.

As a multi-critterkeeper, I've rented, and owned (DH and I have had a tiny farm-gotta have room for the ponies!) for the past decade or so. Before that, we rented for a couple of years when we 'just' had 2 dogs and 4 inside cats; we were lucky enough to find half of a house where the landlady lived downstairs...and had 2 dogs of her own.

We were super responsible with picking up dog poop, and all that, and things went really well; we even ended up letting the landlady's dogs in and out on occasion. When we moved, it suddenly became evident to us that the varnished cedar trim all over the 2 story apt. had really suffered from cat claws-oops :eek:.

Sooo, I spent over a month experimenting with matching the previous stain, and sanding away with my m.i.l.'s power sander. I'm not exactly a star handyman/woodworker lol, but I sure learned a lot...and in the end, things looked as good as new (or unscratched!).

I've always thought that the concept of an 'animal deposit' in addition to the regular damage deposit or whatever is a good idea. As a critter person, it was a bit hard to find an animal-friendly rental, and I felt a bit discriminated against. Then again, I can understand an owner's reluctance to allow pets, as they CAN be pretty destructive-even with responsible owners.

I guess the bottom line if I were to rent out a property would be getting it 'back' in the same condition it was rented in, whatever the specific details. Your idea of a sort of resume sounds kind of cute...perhaps including some rental-relevant solid references?

Good luck with your project!

February 14th, 2008, 08:40 AM
I know with my Vetinsurance policy the company sends a letter that is designed to be given to prospective landlords. It states that a policy has been purchased, and the coverage includes $25,000 in 3rd party property damage liability. If a landlord was considering a tenant with pets, I would think that it would definately put them into a category of a committed responsible owner, and be an advantage to the prospective tenant.

Sometimes the hard copy works wonders. :thumbs up

February 14th, 2008, 09:03 AM
I've only ever had cats, and never more than 2 at a time. So when I rent an apartment with a no-pets policy (this may sound pretty sneaky) I just tell the landlord that I have no pets and then bring them in anyway:evil:.
Fortunately, I've always had landlords who were never really around, and always gave notice when they would be, and I know this isn't always the case. But I always got away with it.
I don't think they can evict you as long as you don't get any complaints and there is no visible damage to the house. I can't be certain of this, though.

I like your idea about the pet resume, maybe you could include that along with an additional signed statement that you will make any necessary repairs upon leaving the dwelling or you forfeit your security deposit. This might sway the naysayers (that's a fun sentence!), knowing that they have security about the condition of their house.

Good luck.

February 14th, 2008, 09:06 AM
A good way to convince prospective landlords that you are a good and responsible pet owner and that your pets are well behaved is to get pet references from past landlords, housemates etc..., Be open and up front about your animals and be willing make compromises.

Your resume idea is good, just make sure there are phone numbers for the landlord to call to verify that your little angels are in fact angels :D

I've been lucky, so far I've been able to find pet freindly buildings. But in Ontario it's illegal to refuse rental to someone because of pets. You don't even have to disclose that you have pets when you're applying to rent (don't quote me on that!)

Good luck with your search.

February 14th, 2008, 09:38 AM
I've only recently had pets with me. My former apartment was a no pet building, and I hid my two cats constantly. I finally had to move because I just hated always having to hide whenever I brought things from Petco, or Petsmart. And taking them to the vet was always an issue because I had to be careful of who was outside.

I think the rule of not allowing pets is just bad. Honestly, kids are more destructive to a home or apartment than most pets can ever be, but heaven forbid you have a no kids policy.

I'm lucky that I found a wonderful place to live that allows pets. I currently have 4 indoor cats, and I take care of one outdoor cat with the maintenance men of the building. I'm also lucky in the sense, when I was interviewed before I moved in, since it's a condo, I was told that there is no security deposit for cats, so that was a plus.

I wish more property owners allowed for pets to be in their buildings.

February 14th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I've only ever had cats, and never more than 2 at a time. So when I rent an apartment with a no-pets policy (this may sound pretty sneaky) I just tell the landlord that I have no pets and then bring them in anyway:evil:.

I actually had dealings with our rental tribunal here and found out that not only can they not refuse pets, but you are under no obligation to tell them you have any and if they add that clause to your rental agreement or lease, it means nothing. Just the same as non-smoking buildings, you are under no obligation not to smoke (except for the halls/lobby's if signs are posted). The space you are renting is yours to do with and live in as you please. As long as there is no damage to the apartment or home, and no noise/ disturbance complaints and you do not have more than the legally allowed number of pets... there is nothing they can do about what you do in your private space. (I was happy about the pets part, but extremely disappointed in the smoking part because that forced us to move).

Of course it is a lot easier if you find somewhere that is pet friendly and thus don't have to constantly be on eggshells for fear of them making up complaints to have you evicted for. What I did was invite my prospective landlord to the apartment I was currently living in, to meet the cats (all 6) and see how I kept the apartment. He really couldn't have cared how many cats I had... and I now know that extends to his upkeep of this property...:frustrated:

I think that is a good idea though because when I was looking at apartments, I met many many non-pet-friendly landlords and some that were downright animal haters and totally ignorant about pet ownership. (One couldn't complain enough about the poor stray cats eating from her dumpsters.... :sad:)

February 14th, 2008, 11:24 AM
I actually had dealings with our rental tribunal here and found out that not only can they not refuse pets, but you are under no obligation to tell them you have any and if they add that clause to your rental agreement or lease, it means nothing.

I was about to say the same thing! About a year ago, my boyfriend was having horrible problems with his landlords - building was infested with bedbugs :yuck:, he moved apartments within the building 3 times but the problem remained. The last straw was when the landlords agreed to fumigate but didn't give him any warning and ended up spraying chemicals when the cats were in the apartment and he was at work. We went to the tribunal and the landlords said they were going to evict anyway because they weren't allowed pets - they lost, had to pay the rent deposit back plus 2 months, and the vet bills from making sure Aly and Dexter hadn't been poisoned.

So I would definitley check into your tribunal - a lot of landlords either don't realize it's illegal to refuse pets or think that tenants won't know and try to get around it.

February 14th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I am finding that saying you are "thinking of getting pets" (just lie and don't say you have them) warms them up to the idea. Offer to put down an extra damage deposit for animals that you expect back when you leave with no damage. In a lot of cases, it's pretty easy to fix up animal problems like scratched hardwood (refinish it), animal pet stains in carpets (steam clean/ replace the carpet - look for a place with minimal carpeting and you're fine there!) or damaged door frames (wood framing is what- 2$ for 6 feet?).

I would say people should have less issue with dogs and a (reasonable) number of cats in a rental property- nothing stinks worse than lizards or snakes, IMO!

I have also found out that you CAN sneak animals into your property without problems, legally. I just worry about them not renewing the lease with us, as I hate moving.

Just found out we're moving in April now- our landlord is selling the house when the lease expires. I love that house, too.

February 21st, 2008, 01:05 PM
Gibbons - I just found this and remembered your thread:

Rental Units - Your Pets Are Allowed!

To all renters of houses and apartments in Ontario., please be advised that under the Landlord and Tenant Act of Ontario, you ARE ALLOWED to keep pets in your rental unit, and it is unlawful for your landlord to have a “No Pets” clause in the rental/lease agreement, or to ask you to remove your pets, unless they are causing a problem.

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 , Part II Section 14 states:

14. A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void. 2006, c. 17, s. 14.

Even if you signed a lease with a "no pets" clause, if the pet is not a problem for anybody they can not enforce it; such no pets clauses are invalid under the law

Only if the pet is dangerous, causes allergic reactions or causes problems for other tenants or the landlord, must you get rid of your pet or consider moving elsewhere as per Landlord application to terminate tenancy based on animals.

You do NOT have to inform your potential landlord of any pets you may have or may acquire in the future, and they CANNOT terminate your rental agreement or threaten to evict you, unless the animal causes problems as described above.

Do NOT let your landlord threaten or bully you, do NOT give your animal up in order to get an apartment or house, do NOT take your animal to a shelter simply because the landlord tells you no pets are allowed.



February 21st, 2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks for posting that Danae... that is exactly the part I was referring to!

Also maybe we should make this a sticky at the top of the site, so that more people are educated about their pet owner rights when it comes to renting. I know around here it's a big issue with landlords bullying people into moving or surendering pets.