A ‘nice’ older couple adopted a nice looking former feral cat from a rescue centre. The rescue centre was very pleased and described them as a “really sweet older couple”. That’s the impression they gave and the shelter staff were very happy that Murdock had a new home. And then it went pear-shaped because Murdock was returned to them. We don’t know how long the cat was with this older couple but it seems that it was not that long before they decided to relinquish him back to the same shelter from which they adopted him because they had chosen a new apartment which had ‘unbelievable’ amenities.
ASSOCIATED PAGE: Second Floor Apartment Outdoor Cat.
This is the report by Kaye Larsen on Facebook (see below) and she rightly, in my opinion, questions how people can choose better amenities over their cat companion. This was a straight choice between staying where they were, where cats are allowed, and moving to what they thought was a better apartment with better amenities where cats are not allowed.
At the time of adopting Murdock, the older couple said that they’d love to give Murdock a forever home. It wasn’t a forever home. It was a temporary home. It was a failure as a rehoming exercise. Murdock ended up at the shelter in the first place because his original owner lost his home and his cats ended up on the street until a neighbour called the rescue, Fat Cat Rescue. Kaye says that this person’s home was repossessed and he put “all his inside cats outside to fend for themselves!”
The rescue centre trapped all six of them and I presume that they rehomed them in due course. And now they have to rehome Murdock again. This time to a true for ever home. Murdock has had a rough ride.
Kaye makes quite a clever and amusing comment at the end of her Facebook post when she says, “I hope your children don’t dump you for great amenities”. She thinks that what comes around goes around meaning that if you do something wrong you ultimately pay the price somewhere down the road. Kaye calls it the “law of fair return”. I agree with this.
Note: This is a post from Facebook. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
Landlords banning pets
This is a good opportunity to briefly mention the problem with landlords banning pets in their apartments and houses. It’s very common. I don’t know how common it is in America because I could not find the information online.
In the UK only 7% of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties. That means that 93% of properties for rent do not permit pets. You can see the massive problem this creates for those who can’t afford to purchase their own property but who love companion animals. I suspect something similar is happening in America.
Apparently in Japan because of small living spaces landlords nearly always forbid tenants to live with pets which results in domestic cats and dogs being abandoned onto the streets.
In the UK, as at January 28, 2021, the UK government has on their website a press release which announces “New standard tenancy agreement to help renters with well-behaved pets”. It goes on to state that responsible tenants in England with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through a standard tenancy agreement. It is called a Model Tenancy Agreement. It forbids landlords issuing blanket bans on pets. Consent for pets will be the default position and landlords have to object in writing within 28 days of a written request to live with a pet from a tenant and provide a good reason why the request cannot be met.
Currently, it might not always be practical but people with pets do not have to accept the standard letting agreement. Every landlord in the developed world uses standard agreements when they let their apartments. In the UK it is called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. There will probably be something similar in the USA.
These agreements can be amended by negotiation. The landlord is protected against damage to his property by the tenant because they pay a deposit. Landlords obviously don’t think that’s enough to protect them against potential damage by a companion animal. But there’s no reason why a person who wishes to rent an apartment cannot negotiate a slight increase to the rental cost to cover potential damage by their cat.
Cats are certainly far easier for a landlord to accept because they are quiet. Dogs as we know can bark and that can create a legal nuisance with neighbours. The only problem that cats can present to a landlord is peeing and defecating in the wrong place if the flat is unfurnished. If it’s furnished then of course a cat can scratch the landlord’s furniture. But this damage can be minimised and as mentioned the proposed tenant can offer a premium rental to cover those potential damages. That may encourage a landlord to accept the agreement.
Obviously, it depends on the market at that time. If it is a renter’s market because of a glut of properties the tenant can negotiate from a position of strength. The opposite is true of there is a shortage of properties.
The point that I’m making is that people with pets who need to rent properties should be open to the possibility of negotiating the rental agreement to find a way to take their pets with them.
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