A rise in the number of pets – usually cats and dogs – in apartments in America means that cat owners who say they have to relinquish their cat because the rental agreement forbids it will have to find another excuse. Pet friendly apartments are the norm rather than the exception say The American Humane Society. For example, in the Denver metro area 98% of apartments accepted cats in 2016.
Economics and common sense have driven landlords to allow pet owners to occupy their properties. A RealPage Analytics study reported in idahobusinessreview.com tells us that in 2010 in Idaho there were 21 kids and 16 pets per 100 apartments but by 2017 the numbers had reversed: 18 kids and 22 pets per apartment.
This points to two things (1) people are choosing to have a pet rather than a child and (2) landlords have taken the pragmatic decision to put up with the potential problems of having cats and dogs in their apartments for economic reasons because it does not make sense to remove from the pool of potential renters those who own pets. There are too many of them to ignore.
Also, provided the lease or rental agreement is drafted properly it protects the landlord from damage caused by pets. Dogs are more of a worry from the standpoint of noise. There is a potential problem there. Noise pollution is a modern concern. As I recall environmental noise of one of the major causes of stress in people.
As for cats, there should no problems provided the cat is well cared for and healthy. The classic fears from property owners are probably cats using carpets as wallpaper scratching posts and peeing on carpets for health reasons (stress induced cystitis comes to mind). A proper use of deposits should deal with this or a slightly increased rent. But landlords can’t increase rents for people with emotional support animals.
In the US there appears to be a sharp upward trend in the use of emotional support and service animals. Under the Fair Housing Act Landlords are obliged to allow these pets in properties and not charge extra. I don’t know but it would seem that renters might be using the law to their advantage to force landlords to accept pets in apartments.
A property manager, Melissa Sharon president of First Rate Property Management in Boise said that:
“And it’s true, some people need these animals, someone with PTSD needs the animal. The policy is there for people who really need the animals. Unfortunately, it’s getting out of hand.”
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