Shortage of Pet-Friendly Housing

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  1. wychic profile image86
    wychicposted 8 years ago

    I work with the dogs in my local shelter, and as anyone who has ever been in a shelter knows it can be very heartbreaking work. Perhaps worse than some, though, are the animals that had to be given up because their humans' landlord thought they were too big, the people moved and couldn't find a place that allows pets, or they want a pet but can't have one because of the lack of pet-friendly housing.

    In my area there's a huge shortage...landlords get sick of having irresponsible pet owners trash their rentals, it's less hassle without pets, etc. The shelter, like many others, is full of large dogs that only homeowners have a chance to adopt, and many dogs and cats end up there that had loving homes for years, but the owners moved into this area and then realized the no one would allow their beloved pets.

    I've been looking at this shortage and thinking how nice it would be if there were even one apartment complex that was pet-friendly, one that would allow any animal that's legal to have within town limits. This is a small town, most apartments open to the outside, most are no more than two stories tall, and most have at least some land with the complex. My mind started going through possibilities of open floor plans, large dog runs to go with the units, a list of petsitters, dog walkers, and waste removers for the tenants to use if needed...when I started writing the lease agreement in my head, I knew I could be in trouble.

    Given my income it was ludicrous to think that I could ever do something like this, but the more I think about it the more I'm thinking it's worth a try. My questions are...does anyone know of anything like this already in existence? Are there any grants or investment loans out there specifically geared toward pet housing, promoting rescue and adoption...that sort of thing? Also, I'd like to hear any stories people have about their pet-related housing issues whether from renters, people who have had bad experiences renting to pet owners, or anything else that's related. Thanks!

  2. torimari profile image69
    torimariposted 8 years ago

    It's really a pity, but like you said: In my area there's a huge shortage...landlords get sick of having irresponsible pet owners trash their rentals, it's less hassle without pets, etc.

    You know, those few people that shouldn't have pets and let them shit or chew whatever they please and it pisses off the's frustrating, and ruins it for the other responsible owners.

    I don't know any grants, loan, etc that will allow that...if anything I'd prefer it going to forcing people to learn how to care for their pets and pets' messes responsibly before having apartments that allow pets.

    I don't know. There's so many shades of gray and in the end, wheter responsible or irresponsible owner, or nasty landlord the animals are getting the short end of the stick (which I'm sure you know as you work in a shelter). sad

    1. wychic profile image86
      wychicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I wish there was a way to force them to be responsible, too...for my own plans I've tied in responsibility with people's wallets (unfortunately, the people who don't seem to care about other lives still care immensely for the amount of green paper they have) by putting into the lease agreement about what will happen if waste isn't cleaned up, if the animals don't have food or water, or if they're left outside at night or when it's cold. Basically the idea is, if they don't do it then we will and the service will be added to the rent. If they fail to pay, then they get both evicted and turned over to the local police for animal neglect and/or abuse.

      Yeah, the few places I've been able to find here required an extra $600-$1,000 deposit to have animals, and then it's those "pets negotiable" places that only allow dogs under 25lbs, no cats, one cat, etc. I know all of us who love our pets would gladly pay such an exorbitant deposit if we could, but especially coupled with all the other expenses of moving, there are so many that just plain can't.

      Of all the rentals in my town, about 100 are currently listed, and 7 will negotiate on pets. Of these seven, five are priced between $1,000 and $1,500 a month in an area where the average yearly wage is $17,000 and the other two require extensive references and only allow a single small pet.

  3. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    I have run into this a few times in the last couple years.
    There does seem to be a shortage of pet friendly housing.
    I met my boyfriend, he has a dog, we had to move because we couldn't have the dog in my apartment.

    We searched for affordable pet friendly housing.  We couldn't find many in reason.  The one we did find cost us a fortune not just in rent but we also had to pay 'pet rent', our pet deposit was more than our regular deposit.

    The complex has doo doo bags and doo doo trash bins around the complex so that you can clean up after your pet.

    This cost us a lot.

    We moved to another state (unrelated reason) the vacancy for housing is something like 78%, of the 78% only about 1% (if that) allow pets.

    Of the 2-300 we looked at (internet of course) only 1 allows pets.

  4. Doggie Devotee profile image61
    Doggie Devoteeposted 8 years ago

    What makes it harder is having a pit bull and trying to find someone to rent to you. Thats the problem I'm facing, and we haven't found anyone who will rent us a place. The media has ruined this wonderfull breed.

    1. moanalisa profile image61
      moanalisaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I don't necessarily agree that it's solely the media's responsibility for that, but more the irresponsible owners of the animals. I've met plenty of very loving and fun pit bulls, but I've seen more irresponsible owners than not, unfortunately. Many animal shelters keep records of dog bites and pit bulls are typically very high on that list.

      Most places around here don't allow pets. Of the few that do, they require a deposit (often almost as much as a full month's rent) and additional fee of $25-30/month. These are usually higher end apartments that are not affordable to everyone.

      Wychic, I love your idea! I'd love to see more pet-friendly places. My daughter desperately wants a cat, but unfortunately, we aren't allowed pets here. The best compromise we came up with was to get her a pair of parakeets as for some reason, most places don't consider them as pets.

    2. caravalhophoto profile image62
      caravalhophotoposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I love pitt bulls...but I must disagree that it is the media who gave these dogs a bad rap...the bad rap came from irresponsible owners...working for, I can't even rescue these babys from shelters and it breaks my heart.  I have a 100lb Lab/Great Dane and I had a hard time finding a place because he is over 25lbs.  I was lucky to find a "studio" 450 sq. feet, that rented to me with no deposit, we have no room...but on the bright side, I got to keep my boy.  It did take 6 months of every day searching...

  5. gracenotes profile image91
    gracenotesposted 8 years ago

    I have owned rental houses in the past.

    At the time, we started out with a no pets policy.  As time went on, we considered allowing it on a case-by-case basis.  Two renters have been staying long term, satisfactorily, with a pet.  One has a cat, the other a chihuahua.  If you just have a few houses, it's easier; with a multi-unit building, you pretty much have to set a policy and enforce it.

    We did have some tenants with larger breed dogs who stayed outside most of the time within the fenced yard.

    Be aware that the owner of a rental home will have a tenant dwelling insurance policy.  The insurer can refuse to insure for liability if a certain breed of dog is living there.  For instance, our tenant dwelling policy refused to accept about 4 breeds of dogs (amazingly, the pit bull terrier was not one of them, and the renters had a pit bull mix on the property for a while).

    We had one irresponsible tenant who left a poor dog chained up all day.  But he moved out before even 6 months were up.

    1. wychic profile image86
      wychicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Do you know if insurance policies generally go along with whichever breeds are or are not allowed by state laws? That's a good thing to know! There are no breeds outlawed in my state, but if the insurance company might balk at some that'll definitely be something to check out. I do they enforce stuff like that? It seems like if someone had a mix, they could just as easily say "Lab mix" or something instead of "Pit bull mix." Both would be true, though one may be allowed and the other not.

      It is too bad that pits have gotten such a bad name...they're some of the sweetest dogs I know, every bit the big babies that rotties are. Unfortunately, because they are a powerful breed, owner irresponsibility has much more dire consequences than with, say, a Pomeranian that bites.

  6. gracenotes profile image91
    gracenotesposted 8 years ago

    Let me say that I love the Rottweiler -- surely one of the most beautiful dog breeds.

    Well, as to the insurance policy:  I'm not sure how it works.  At the time (2003), larger insurance companies in my area of the state just weren't taking on new clients, due to too many mold claims.  So, we were really lucky to get a smaller company that was willing to issue a tenant dwelling policy, also known as a fire policy.  And I was struck when I saw the part about the dog breeds.  No one came out and asked me about whether the tenants had a dog, and what kind, but the language was there.

    Now, when I once had an umbrella policy on my own house, which is a personal excess liability policy that can provide liability over 1 million dollars, I was asked verbally what kind of dog I had.  I only had a poodle at the time.  If I'd replied with a dog on their prohibited list, they would likely have said, "Sorry, you are out of luck."

    1. wychic profile image86
      wychicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks smile. It sounds like maybe the first one was trying to cover their rear in the case of an attack more than anything...wasn't 2003 when there were quite a few nasty maulings in the news? I'll be sure and check things over very carefully when/if I get to that stage. I'm glad I live in a desert state, don't really have mold issues either big_smile

  7. Doggie Devotee profile image61
    Doggie Devoteeposted 8 years ago

    I agree it's not just the media and irresponsible owners are very much to blame. It is those who irresponsibly own these dogs that end up in the media. Most of the time these "pit bull" attacks that you see on tv aren't even from true pit bulls. There are many factors that lead to pit bulls having a bad rap.


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