Apr 302013
 
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Have you ever had that moment where you look at someone you thought you had a lot in common with and wondered, “How could she not like _____? Everyone likes that! Is there something wrong with her? Did I ever really even know her?” Well, I’m often that person getting stared at.

I don’t care for The Beatles. I can’t stand cheesecake. I hate the movie Top Gun (Goose died during a training exercise! What an idiot!).

Oh, and here’s the kicker: I’m not really an animal person. Especially dogs.

(I know, I know. Bring on the hate mail. But, in my defense, I do like chocolate and Arrested Development. I’m not a complete monster, after all.)

They’re plotting something, I just know it.

Tons of people have pets now, though, and lots of developers and property managers are jumping on the bandwagon by having pet-friendly buildings. And, according to this infographic, this could actually work out in favor of the community, because property managers could charge a fee for residents who have a pet.

But wait. Before you join in and make your building pet friendly, let me speak in defense of non-pet-friendly communities. There are several reasons to keep your building people only.

There will be less wear and tear on the floors. If there are no pets, then those beautiful hardwood floors won’t constantly be scratched. That’ll save you money in the long run because you won’t have to fix them up before a new resident moves in.

The building will be quieter. Without pets, there won’t be barking at 4 a.m. every morning. Sure, there might still be babies crying at that time, and people’s TVs might still be blasting, but, hey, no barking, right?

You don’t have to make exceptions for people. If your building is pet friendly, does that mean any pet can live there? Sure, a tabby cat or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is cool. But what if someone has a Pit Bull or a Doberman Pinscher or a Bengal Tiger? Do you charge a higher fee? Or do you not allow them? In which case, you’d have to deal with arguments such as “that’s not fair”/”you’re just prejudiced about this kind of dog—they’re actually really sweet.” No pets mean you don’t have to make exceptions. Everyone is happy. (Or sad, I guess, if they wanted a pet. But at least everyone is on equal ground.)

It appeals to people who aren’t animal people or who are allergic. I might be alone in admitting my dislike for pets out loud, but I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way. And even if people are animal people, if they are allergic or have little kids or wear fancy suits, they might not want animals jumping on them every time they step in the elevator.

What’s your take on pet-friendly or non-pet-friendly apartment communities?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Eric Isselee

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  5 Responses to “‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: In Defense of Non-Pet-Friendly Communities”

  1. If you choose to allow pets, it is probably best to allow them in only certain areas of the property. Like you, not everyone loves dogs or birds or caged reptiles. A lot of people are allergic to animals, even if they don’t know it. I discovered I was allergic to dogs and cats in my mid 40′s.

    I think there are a lot of people who would pay a premium to know that a cat or dog NEVER inhabited their apartment home. Same concept as smoking units. We have a dog in our home, but we respect the rights of others to not walk thru his poop, hear his late night barking or let him run wild around children or adults who might be intimidated.

  2. Jessica: You know I like your Blog postings and reference them in some of my comments. However, I have to agree with Randy. I have stabilized several properties with varying pet policies. With vicious breeds being the exception, on a family property I have segregated pets to certain buildings successfully. On a senior property I have allowed for large dogs, such as Labrador retrievers and was successfully integrated. Regardless of the property type, dog-walks and play areas. On all pet friendly properties there should be a monthly premium charged to have a pet; and an extra security deposit. Management also needs to be mindful of those pets to ensure all pets are being accounted. Neil

  3. My complex is happy to have pets. The managers then have someone to blame for the rat infestation…”the pet owners are leaving dog food out, which is attracting the rats”, “nothing we can do about it”, etc.

  4. Best all around solution is to have pet buildings. As all of you know, pets are not a protected class, but service and companion animals would have to be allowed, so the concept of ‘people will pay more for an apt never occupied buy a pet’ is pretty unrealistic. Remember that most cities/states/company policies allow a restricted breed list for pets…pretty hard to make that fly for service/companion animals. I do think (not legal advice) that you can have a policy where you check the ‘rental’ history of any animal to see if there have been behavioral problems. Doesn’t necessarily mean than you can not rent to the animal…especially service/companion…but maybe! And for sure with pets. Know your city.county/state and housing authority/HUD rulings in your area. AND in tougher occupancy times, taking pets significantly increase occupancy…PLUS most dogs don’t bark all night. If so, tell the occupant they and or/the pet have to go ;-) Empty nesters get a pet because they like the pet better than the kids that left home…real world ;-)

  5. Pets raise all sorts of issues for me. There is nothing more off putting than an apartment that smells like dogs or cats. Sometimes even the best cleaning service can’t get the smell off the carpet.

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