Finding pet-friendly housing in California can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With more than half of American households owning pets, it’s important to know your rights as a renter with a furry friend. In this blog post, we’ll explore the laws surrounding pet ownership in rental properties in California and offer advice for renters who are seeking pet-friendly housing.
Laws and Restrictions
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the laws and restrictions surrounding pet ownership in rental properties in California. While landlords have the right to set their own pet policies, there are certain restrictions that must be followed under California landlord-tenant law. For example, landlords cannot charge tenants more than their actual costs for pet-related damage or require tenants to declaw or devocalize their pets.
Additionally, landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with pets or refuse to rent to them solely based on their pet ownership. This is protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors.
However, landlords do have the right to set reasonable restrictions on pet ownership, such as breed or size restrictions, as long as they apply these restrictions equally to all tenants. It’s important to note that service animals are not considered pets and are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with service animals, regardless of their pet policies.
Tips for Renters
Now that you understand the laws and restrictions surrounding pet ownership in rental properties in California, here are some tips for renters who are seeking pet-friendly housing:
- Start your search early: It’s important to start your search early, as pet-friendly housing can be in high demand. Start looking at least 60 days before your move-in date to give yourself enough time to find a place that suits your needs.
- Be honest with your potential landlord: When contacting potential landlords, be upfront about your pet ownership. This will save you time and help you avoid landlords who have strict pet policies.
- Offer to pay a pet deposit: Many landlords require a pet deposit to cover any potential damage caused by your pet. Offer to pay this deposit upfront to show your commitment to responsible pet ownership.
- Show that you are a responsible pet owner: Provide references from previous landlords or neighbors that can attest to your responsible pet ownership. This can help put potential landlords at ease and increase your chances of being accepted.
- Consider getting renter’s insurance: Renter’s insurance can cover any potential damage caused by your pet and can also provide liability coverage in case your pet injures someone.
How do I find a pet-friendly apartment in California?
Finding a pet-friendly apartment in California can be challenging, but there are ways to make the process easier. Start by searching online for listings that specifically mention they accept pets. Check with local animal shelters and rescue groups for recommendations on pet-friendly landlords. Be prepared to provide references and possibly pay a pet deposit. Consider offering to sign a pet agreement that outlines your responsibilities as a pet owner. Finally, be open to negotiating with landlords who may be hesitant to accept pets. With a little patience and persistence, you can find the perfect pet-friendly apartment in California.
What are my rights as a tenant with a pet in California?
As a tenant with a pet in California, you have certain rights that are protected by law. Landlords are not allowed to charge extra fees or deposits for service animals, which are not considered pets under the law. For non-service animals, landlords can charge a pet deposit, but it cannot be more than twice the monthly rent. Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with pets, and they must make reasonable accommodations for service animals. However, tenants are responsible for any damage caused by their pets, and landlords can evict tenants for violating pet policies.
How can I convince my landlord to let me keep a pet?
If your landlord does not allow pets, there are steps you can take to try to persuade them to change their policy. Start by gathering information about your pet, such as their breed, size, and age, and provide documentation of their good behavior and training. Offer to sign a pet agreement that outlines your responsibilities as a pet owner, such as keeping your pet clean and well-behaved. You can also offer to pay a pet deposit or purchase renter’s insurance that covers pet-related damages. Finally, be open to negotiating with your landlord and be prepared to compromise to reach a solution that works for both parties.
Finding pet-friendly housing in California can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. It’s important to understand the laws and restrictions surrounding pet ownership in rental properties in California and to be upfront and honest with potential landlords. By following these tips and showing that you are a responsible pet owner, you can increase your chances of finding a place that suits both you and your furry friend. Remember, as a renter with a pet, you have rights that are protected under California law.