No Smoking, No Pets..

My awesome cat, "Mr. Kitty"

 

A while ago I did an impromptu survey on Kijiji at rental units and found that about 90% did not allow pets.  It was the same thing every time, list the selling points of the unit and then written underneath…

No smoking, no pets.

Every damn time…

Very often there are no provisions or any exceptions made to this rule, if you have a pet whether it be a kitten or six pit-bulls you cannot live here.  Some places even will write something like ABSOLUTELY NO PETS!!!!  It’s almost like they’d rather have a meth lab at the place rather than a kitten.

It is very difficult being a renter and a pet and trying to find a decent place or any place for that matter.

First of all, I get it landlords, you own the place, it’s your right to choose whether you want to allow pets or not.   Some pet owners are irresponsible, don’t clean up after their animals, stuff gets chewed up and stained and you can never get the smell out.   I’ve seen pets utterly destroy a house and make it nearly inhabitable.  Although these owners I think represent a very minuscule percentage of pet owners.  Isn’t it a little unfair to paint every pet owner with that same brush?   There’s a difference between a single woman living with a cat and somebody who’s breeding Jack Russell Terriers.  Everybody I know who owns pets keeps a clean house, it doesn’t smell in there and the animals are well behaved.  One girl I know has five cats and you can barely tell.

Would you turn someone away because they have kids?  Kids are noisy, they write on walls, wreck things, and pee and poop everywhere.  Although you do not have the right not to rent to someone because they have a kid, I don’t see why it’s different with animals.

Our landlord allowed us to have a cat but seems to have this personal vendetta against him or something.   She is constantly giving us flack about every little thing this cat does and was almost going to call the cops because it took a crap in our neighbours flower bed.  She is also constantly interrogating us whether we have bought another animal.  She is completely paranoid and treats our cat as if it is just a massive nuisance rather than a member of our family.   When we asked about the possibility of getting a little dog for xmas, the answer was a flat-out no and she would not even consider it.  First of all we aren’t looking to get some 5 foot tall Mastiff, my girlfriend has this thing for small annoying dogs and wants to get a friggin Yorkshire Terrier which are not much bigger than a loaf of bread.  Secondly, she has proven to be a reliable and responsible renter and we have not any issues with our current animal. To top it off, my girlfriend on the verge of being OCD in regards to how clean she keeps the place.  The thought that this animal would be running amok, crapping everywhere and wrecking the house is almost laughable.  I think our landlord is a classic example of how they think though, that any animal just equals headaches and irreversible damage no matter who the owner

It really bothers me that these landlords cannot take any sort of circumstances into account when looking at potential renters.  I mean take a look at the situation, see what kind of animal the renter has, what breed, how many…etc.   If you’re weary about taking a pet, get the renter to pay an extra damage deposit.  It’s almost gotten to the point where the only way you are able to have an animal is spending 300,000 dollars on a house.  So I guess only people with good credit ratings are able to own pets.  Another factor that makes it even harder for pet owners that since the real estate boom here in Saskatoon, a lot of rental units have been snagged up all by these rental companies.  So you’re not renting from an individual, you’re renting from a company who has all these strict corporate policies regarding pets and very often they cannot be negotiated.

One of the top reasons that pet owners take their animal to the shelter where they are most likely going to die is that the place they’re moving will not take animals.  I wonder if these landlords realize how many millions of loving family pets have died over the years because of their ignorance and stubbornness.  Surely most of them at one point in their lives have had a family pet, I just can’t believe in good conscience that would force someone to choose between a member of their family or having a roof over their heads.

Maybe Saskatchewan needs to enact a law similar to Ontario’s which says

A tenant can be evicted for having a pet in their unit only if

the pet is making too much noise, damaging the unit, or causing an allergic reaction, or the animal or species is considered to be inherently dangerous.

Even if the tenancy agreement has a ‘no pets’ rule in it, the tenant cannot be evicted just for having a pet unless the Board decides in an order that the pet is causing a problem, or that the pet is inherently dangerous.

So even if you are caught hiding a pet in your rental unit, the landlord has no right to convict if the animal is not being a nuisance.   Also keep in mind, some landlords just say no pets and some can be reasoned with or you might just have to throw a bunch of extra money at them.  If you are in a situation where you are having difficulty finding a place there are many useful tips on the internet about trying to negotiate keeping your pet and hopefully your pet will be able to live and a long happy life with you by their side.

Now excuse me while I go cuddle with Mr. Kitty….

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