|Only TWO bedrooms for $2k and it even has a back yard but NO PETS ALLOWED!|
I get it, some people allow their pets to damage properties. But how does this happen? How is this allowed to happen? Leases should state repairs need to be made by tenants who own pets. There should be an extra deposit, stricter guide lines and policies.
I think landlords just don't want to deal with any repairs at all—Which is lazy and irresponsible on their part. We all know there are plenty of "slumlords" in Santa Cruz, a majority of them rent out crappy, tiny, illegal studios and units. The bigger issue here is the landlords! Rather than go the responsible moral route, landlords take the easy way out and flat out don't allow pets at all without any negotiations. This is why we have such a huge homeless population or both human and animal kind alike. People can't find housing in Santa Cruz that allow pets. If they do, they have massive restrictions: No dogs, weight limits, one cat only, ten gallon fish tanks, extra (enormous) deposit + MONTHLY pet rent(!), breed restrictions or even a limit on how many pets you can have.
While searching for places, I stumbled across Capitola Gardens; "Luxury" apartments that say: "Dogs and cats ok!"......"Breed restrictions may apply." By "may" they mean they do and if you have a "Bully breed" you're screwed.
Here's a piece from the Santa Cruz SPCA's website regarding pet friendly rentals:
"According to the Humane Society of the United States, if all rental housing units permitted pets, approximately 6.5 million animals could be placed in homes. All too often, shelters are filled to capacity with perfectly healthy, friendly animals that simply weren't allowed to move with their families. At the Santa Cruz SPCA, we have established a list of pet-friendly rentals available in Santa Cruz County to assist residents with their search. "Now this list has an incredible amount of restrictions. Such as those I listed above. Below is a small sample of places available in SCC: (Link: http://spcasc.org/programs-resources/pet-friendly-housing/listings/)
As a tenant with pets, here's what you can do to state your case: (From the Santa Cruz SPCA)
- Have your pet neutered or spayed, since altered companion animals typically behave better and don't have heat cycles or spray. Plus, it's the law in Santa Cruz County.
- Bring up the subject of pets in person with the property owner rather than over the phone, if possible. Personally presenting information about yourself and your pet may help convince the landlord to say yes.
- Gather references from former landlords, neighbors, obedience instructors, and veterinarians. Include such documents as proof of spay/neuter, records of up-to-date vaccinations, indications of regular vet visits, and obedience school diplomas.
- Write a pet resume. Highlight the qualities of your animal, such as: able to stay alone quietly, housetrained, doesn't chew or howl, etc. Explain how you exercise your dog and how you've helped him learn to be calm, how you keep your pet clean and flea-free, and how the fact that your animal is spayed/neutered will benefit the landlord. Include an attractive picture of your pet at rest.
- Encourage the landlord to meet your groomed, well-behaved pet in your current apartment or elsewhere.
- Besides having your pet altered, have proof of vaccinations, rabies vaccination and current county license for dogs.
- Offer to sign a pet agreement and pay an additional pet deposit as necessary.
- Remind landlords that responsible pet owners make responsible tenants.
- Offer to have the carpets cleaned at move out. I have offered this and it really does help. Plus, it's the right thing to do. For smaller apartments, it really doesn't cost that much and there are lots of places in SC that offer great prices on carpet cleaning. *
- Always clean up after your pet.
- Give your animal enough exercise so that he or she is calm in the apartment when left alone at home.
- Never let the dog or cat roam outside; keep your animal on leash.
- Be a great representative for all pet-owning tenants.
Advice for landlords:
- Require a specific pet deposit or cleaning deposit. Preferably refundable.
- Have a place in the lease that states tenants are responsible for any extra repairs needed made by their own pets.
- Encourage responsible pet ownership: Require proof of an altered pet, vaccinations, rabies, license, etc.
- Have a "clean up" policy. * (See asterisk above)