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Tenant’s Legal rights and Pets – The Landlord Vs Your Cat

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All far too usually I hear of men and women who are giving up their beloved family members pet simply because their landlord enacted a new no-animals coverage, or because they are transferring into a rental assets that has a no-pets plan. Fewer frequently, I also hear of landlords who will enable cats but have to have that they be declawed.

Right before you settle for a rental plan that prices your loved ones, disrupts your lifetime and harms your pet, there are a few actions you should consider.

Know your rights

Did you know that, as a tenant, you have selected legal rights? Every single area will have its personal set of guidelines and bylaws for tenants and landlords, but you should not just believe that your landlord is next these procedures. Make absolutely sure you know what your rights are pertaining to your tenancy and pets just before you are forced into undertaking something.

For case in point, did you know that in Ontario your landlord simply cannot evict you or force you to get rid of your pet until they are unsafe, leading to excessive sound, problems to the unit or allergy difficulties? Even if you signed a lease with a no-animals arrangement, they can not evict you. No-animals clauses are deemed invalid below the legislation and the only way you can be evicted for having a pet is if the Landloard and Tenant Board of Ontario decides that the pet fulfills a single of the previously mentioned conditions. This means that, while a landlord can pick not to rent to anyone who has animals, once you have commenced your rental and are moved in, they cannot evict you for obtaining animals.

Laws will fluctuate dependent on where by you are, but do not permit on your own be bullied into disrupting your everyday living or your cat’s life when the regulation may essentially be on your side! Be educated.

You should not capitulate, negotiate

If local legal guidelines will not protect you and your animals, then the future stage is not to give up and give in, but to negotiate and educate your landlords.

Most landlords that do not enable pets or that call for cats to be declawed have these insurance policies simply because they are concerned about assets harm. Sounds, allergy symptoms and messes in communal spots this kind of as the foyer or entrance regulation may well also be a variable.

As a dependable pet owner it is truly worth your though to try out to educate your landlord about why these guidelines are misguided and needless. If you can provide sensible options so that your landlord can really feel that their pursuits are sufficiently lined you may well be ready to influence them to change their rental policies.

  1. Admit their worries. Be well mannered and acceptable and let them know that you realize their problems and respect their desire to maintain a thoroughly clean, undamaged constructing.
  2. Reveal standard cat conduct. The people today creating plan might be totally unfamiliar with cat behaviour. Clarify that cats can conveniently be qualified to use a scratching submit as a substitute of the carpet, and that cats instinctively choose to bury their waste in cleanse litter alternatively than depositing it just anyplace. Demonstrate that cats do not ordinarily scratch at walls, doorways and trim, and that even an untrained cat is a lot more probable to scratch the tenant’s home furniture than wipe out the unit itself. Permit them know that you will offer a clean up litter box and proper surfaces for your cat to scratch.
  3. Permit them know that your cats are spayed/neutered. Reveal spaying/neutering eradicates the undesirable cat behaviours that they may well be worried about, this kind of as yowling, territory marking with urine & feces, preventing, and attracting stray cats to the area. Let them know that these behaviours are usual of intact animals and that yours have been set.
  4. Guarantee them that your cat will be in a provider or on a leash any time they are in a general public spot. Animals jogging at significant can be unsafe and a nuisance. Reassure them that your cat will be kept less than handle at all occasions.
  5. Make clear what declawing is and that it generally effects in other unwanted conduct. A lot of people do not comprehend what declawing is and have no notion that it may end result in other even much more undesirable behaviour, like peeing outside the house the litterbox. Make it very clear that declawing is unwanted and cruel and that if they are worried about the cat scratching there are alternatives, this kind of as Softpaws [ which you would be willing to use.
  6. Provide documentation to support your claims. Provide supporting evidence from reputable sources to back up what you are saying. Best Friends Network provides many good resources for tenants who are required to declaw: If your landlord requires declawing, talk to your vet – they may be able to provide a document or letter supporting your stance against declawing.
  7. Offer to pay an additional security deposit. Assure them that while your cat is trained and you do not expect your cat to destroy anything, should something in the unit be damaged by the cat, you will take responsibility for repairing or replacing it. Show that you are serious about this by offering to pay a larger security deposit.
  8. Remind them that a responsible tenant is a responsible tenant, and likewise an irresponsible tenant will cause problems even without pets. Their rental agreement should already cover troublesome tenants, such as ones that cause excess noise, disruption or property damage.
  9. Offer to provide recommendations on drafting a rental policy that allows pets but protects their building and other tenants. If you can do some of the leg work for them, saving them time and effort, they may be more willing to make changes.


Your last resort

If your landlord is unwilling to listen or work with you and insists that you get rid of your pets or declaw, then you have a difficult choice to make. It may be time to consider moving to a more pet-friendly home or if that is not feasible, you may need to re-home your pets. I do not consider declawing your cat to be an acceptable compromise.

Ideally you’ll be able to find a new place that allows pets in its rental agreement. If not, properties that are owned by individuals may provide more flexibility than large rental companies on pet policies – at the very least you may find it easier to get access to someone who has the power to make that decision.

If moving is not an option and you must re-home your pets, do everything in your power to find a new home yourself, rather than dropping your cat off at a shelter. All shelters have an abundance of cats and too few adopters, and your cat runs the risk of being in a cage for an extended period of time or being euthanized if they are not adopted quickly. Use all the resources at your disposal – friends and family, community billboards, Freecycle (if your local list allows) and Craigslist. You’ll feel much better knowing that your cat is going to a home instead of a cage and you will have a say in what type of home your cat goes to.

Contact your local governing body that handles tenant and landlord laws and lobby them to create bylaws that protect pet owners without compromising the safety and integrity of landlords properties.

Through responsible pet ownership and proactively promoting understanding through education we can encourage property owners to set reasonable rental rules and decrease discrimination against pet owners.