DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
I own two townhouses, which I rent out to tenants. In the lease I specify that no pets are allowed; however, I will sometimes let a tenant keep a small animal such as a cat or toy dog, as I understand it can be hard to find affordable housing that accepts pets. I will be stopping that practice after my current tenants leave. Why? Because almost every time I have given permission for a pet to be kept, the tenant has abused my kindness by either bringing in additional pets, or by not cleaning up after their pet and causing hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages. I hate to turn pet owners away, but from now on I will have to — I can’t keep spending money to remodel these damaged and stinky townhouses. Please tell your readers that if they are renting, they need to be responsible tenants and follow the rules set out in the lease! — Grumpy Landlord in Boulder, Colo.
Well, you told ‘em, and I agree. I know it can be difficult to find a rental home or apartment that accepts pets, but it is important to be upfront and honest with landlords or property managers. Sometimes a compromise can be worked out, but pet owners must keep their end of the bargain. Some issues can’t be avoided, such as pet fur collecting in the corners or a dog that barks occasionally. But keeping the unit clean and odor-free, making sure pets are well-behaved and healthy, not keeping more pets than are allowed — these are essential elements to maintaining a good relationship with the landlord, and in the long run, increasing the number of landlords willing to rent to pet owners. Don’t mess it up for other pet owners by failing to follow rental rules.
Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.