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Pets Vs. Landlords

Pet ownership in Red Deer is very popular, however, in rental properties it can be a real area of contention between Landlords and Tenants.

First let’s examine what is meant by a no pets clause in a lease, because a lot of tenants think that it simply means no cats or dogs…so they bring in a caged animal like a rabbit or Hamster, Turtle, Snake, Bird or Fish.

Different landlords will look at these other pets with varying degrees of concern but the safest bet is to assume No pets, means No Pets.

As a property manager with a lot of years in the business I have had large aquariums leak while tenants were away on vacation causing substantial damage to the property, including the dead rotten fish.  And we have had small animals escape their cage and chew carpet and electrical wires that caused a fire.

…and more than a few times the tenant did not have insurance to cover the damages.

Next, you have tenants that take on babysitting of pets for others, sometimes this babysitting becomes longer term.

Unfortunately, the length of time the pet is in the house is irrelevant, for most landlords, No Pets means No Pets, not even temporarily.  Some landlords even object to pets visiting for a few hours occasionally.

We have had a tenant get a dog due to security concerns, sorry but a security scare does not give you the right to suddenly get a dog.  NO Pets means NO Pets, not for security, companionship or any other reason.  You can get a security system if you feel the need, wireless please.

This is not to say that all landlords are ruthless tyrants, many will allow for small caged animals or fish, but if your lease has a No pets clause in it, make sure that you get written approval first or you are in breach of your lease and can be evicted over this issue.

In Alberta landlords, can charge a non-refundable pet fee, it can be anything that they want, may be a onetime fee or it may be a monthly fee.  Some provinces do not allow landlords to ban pets such as Ontario, but Alberta does until the Tenancy act that governs Residential tenacities changes.

Why do Landlords have such an aversion to allowing pets:

First is damage to the property.  While 99% of pet owners are great, it is the 1% that can cause a lot of grief, I have had firsthand experience where a single cat has caused damage to an entire home in carpet repairs due to clawing and peeing, damages that far exceeded the security deposit that was held.

Housebreaking new pets can result in lots of damage until the pet is trained.

Second, sometimes future tenants are allergic to animals.  We have lost many potential tenants simply because the moment the prospective tenant walked into the home they started to get stuffy as they were extremely sensitive to the pets that were in prior, it can take a lot of extra specialized cleaning to remedy a house allergen free, it is just easier to not go there in the first place.

Finally, in multi-family such as apartments and townhomes, nothing drives neighbours crazy like a dog barking next door all day long at every slight sound.

For most landlords the risk of the 1% out ways the desire of the 99%

Red Deer Property Rentals is Central Alberta’s Upscale Rental Home Agency.  CLICK HERE to check out our website for your next quality rental home.

Les Brown

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