Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

November 9, 2004 > Pets Allowed - or Not?

Pets Allowed - or Not?

Nancy Lyon

It's sometimes hard not to turn a jaded eye towards people who give the reason for wanting to give away their animals companions as "moving." At the animal shelter and with rescue organizations, it's at the top of the list of excuses for those who don't want to be bothered with taking their animal family with them into a new home or it's just too much bother.

However, it's increasingly apparent that during these difficult financial times, that more and more people are being forced from their homes and into situations where they cannot find accommodations where their beloved family animals are welcomed. While OHS was tabling at a recent Health and Wellness event at Lam Research in Fremont, one of the most popular pamphlets was on finding rentals that would accept companion animals.

Why can it be so difficult? Often housing managers, condominium associations and property owners have had bad experiences with irresponsible animal guardians who have allowed excessive property damage and neighbor disturbances to occur, and are no longer willing to deal with the problem. Their complaints are legitimate but it makes it difficult for those who are responsible guardians and trying to find options to keep their animals when they must change their residence.

So how do you find living arrangements that will allow for your "pet?" If you are truly committed to keeping them with you, it does take some effort but it's not impossible.

Moving is always a hassle but if you have enough notice the best course of action is to start by contacting real estate and rental agencies. Also, there are many online websites that are dedicated to helping animal lovers find pet-friendly housing. The worst mistake you can make is to wait until the last minute. This could result in your trusting animal friend ending up in the animal shelter and perhaps not making it out.

Don't overlook community newspapers, bulletin boards, or online resources that list lodging that accepts animals. Shelters and humane societies, such as OHS, may offer information on local housing that will allow animals. It will save you time to concentrate on those rentals that state a pet-friendly policy and have clear guidelines on size and type of animal allowed, and damage deposits -- some are now charging an additional monthly fee for animals. If your time is limited, concentrate on the pet-friendly resources rather than trying to convince a reluctant landlord.

If there is any question because of breed or size, and if you were in a rental situation previously, it could help to have documentation from your current landlord that you are a responsible animal guardian. If that was not your living situation, then many veterinarians are willing to provide documentation stating that your animal has received regular vet care, is immunized, and spayed or neutered. It's also a positive if your vet will state that from his or her experience, your animal has a stable disposition and is not a threat to public safety.

If there is still any question about your animal's suitability, it doesn't hurt to arrange a one-on-one visit between your animal friend and the property manager or owner. Presenting a well behaved, clean "pet" may be the deciding factor in whether you pass inspection or not. If time factors make this impossible, it is recommended that making up a short scrapbook with pictures, and including statements from groomers, veterinarians, and previous landlords extolling the true virtues of your furry family may be the deciding factor in your favor.

It's always prudent to make sure that any agreement to allow your animals in a rental situation be put in writing. Don't be satisfied with a verbal agreement. Make sure that your rental agreement has a pet acceptance clause. If it is an exception to a no-pet policy make sure that is crossed out on the agreement and initialled on both your and the property manager's copy. Property managers can change and it's wise to protect the future rights of you and your animal family.

Finding a new home for you and your animal can take some time and effort, and keeping a cherished and trusting companion with you can prove challenging. Just remember if you are moving -- don't procrastinate, know and research the available resources, expect to pay a reasonable deposit. And do be honest with housing owners and managers - don't sneak your animal in. It can result in your eviction and builds distrust of animal people. A good relationship with management makes it easier for the next person with an animal that wants to rent.

There are many online resources to help you locate pet-friendly rentals including: www.dogfriendly.com; www.homewithpets.com; www.peoplewithpets.com; www.petapartments.net; www.petrent.net; www.petswelcome.com. For those looking to share housing there is the San Francisco Bay Area resource: Pets Allowed - or Not?
By Nancy Lyon

It's sometimes hard not to turn a jaded eye towards people who give the reason for wanting to give away their animals companions as "moving." At the animal shelter and with rescue organizations, it's at the top of the list of excuses for those who don't want to be bothered with taking their animal family with them into a new home or it's just too much bother.

However, it's increasingly apparent that during these difficult financial times, that more and more people are being forced from their homes and into situations where they cannot find accommodations where their beloved family animals are welcomed. While OHS was tabling at a recent Health and Wellness event at Lam Research in Fremont, one of the most popular pamphlets was on finding rentals that would accept companion animals.

Why can it be so difficult? Often housing managers, condominium associations and property owners have had bad experiences with irresponsible animal guardians who have allowed excessive property damage and neighbor disturbances to occur, and are no longer willing to deal with the problem. Their complaints are legitimate but it makes it difficult for those who are responsible guardians and trying to find options to keep their animals when they must change their residence.

So how do you find living arrangements that will allow for your "pet?" If you are truly committed to keeping them with you, it does take some effort but it's not impossible.

Moving is always a hassle but if you have enough notice the best course of action is to start by contacting real estate and rental agencies. Also, there are many online websites that are dedicated to helping animal lovers find pet-friendly housing. The worst mistake you can make is to wait until the last minute. This could result in your trusting animal friend ending up in the animal shelter and perhaps not making it out.

Don't overlook community newspapers, bulletin boards, or online resources that list lodging that accepts animals. Shelters and humane societies, such as OHS, may offer information on local housing that will allow animals. It will save you time to concentrate on those rentals that state a pet-friendly policy and have clear guidelines on size and type of animal allowed, and damage deposits -- some are now charging an additional monthly fee for animals. If your time is limited, concentrate on the pet-friendly resources rather than trying to convince a reluctant landlord.

If there is any question because of breed or size, and if you were in a rental situation previously, it could help to have documentation from your current landlord that you are a responsible animal guardian. If that was not your living situation, then many veterinarians are willing to provide documentation stating that your animal has received regular vet care, is immunized, and spayed or neutered. It's also a positive if your vet will state that from his or her experience, your animal has a stable disposition and is not a threat to public safety.

If there is still any question about your animal's suitability, it doesn't hurt to arrange a one-on-one visit between your animal friend and the property manager or owner. Presenting a well behaved, clean "pet" may be the deciding factor in whether you pass inspection or not. If time factors make this impossible, it is recommended that making up a short scrapbook with pictures, and including statements from groomers, veterinarians, and previous landlords extolling the true virtues of your furry family may be the deciding factor in your favor.

It's always prudent to make sure that any agreement to allow your animals in a rental situation be put in writing. Don't be satisfied with a verbal agreement. Make sure that your rental agreement has a pet acceptance clause. If it is an exception to a no-pet policy make sure that is crossed out on the agreement and initialled on both your and the property manager's copy. Property managers can change and it's wise to protect the future rights of you and your animal family.

Finding a new home for you and your animal can take some time and effort, and keeping a cherished and trusting companion with you can prove challenging. Just remember if you are moving -- don't procrastinate, know and research the available resources, expect to pay a reasonable deposit. And do be honest with housing owners and managers - don't sneak your animal in. It can result in your eviction and builds distrust of animal people. A good relationship with management makes it easier for the next person with an animal that wants to rent.

There are many online resources to help you locate pet-friendly rentals including: www.dogfriendly.com; www.homewithpets.com; www.peoplewithpets.com; www.petapartments.net; www.petrent.net; www.petswelcome.com. For those looking to share housing there is the San Francisco Bay Area resource:
http://www.craigslist.org

 
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