Should landlords be more tolerant of pets?

Many articles have been written lately regarding the emotional benefits of having pets. To own and love a pet brings great joy to most of us animal loving humans. It is also true that we benefit by the loving and nonjudgmental natures of our “beasts”, and their warm acceptance of us, “warts and all.” For these reasons, it has been found beneficial for people to have pets in various circumstances.

A child whose parents work and who comes home from school alone will be greeted with great joy by a friendly pet dog. This makes a child feel happy to come home, even if alone, because of the pet. A cat may not always be as “demonstrative” as a dog, but many cats are also ready and willing to show affection.

An older person, especially when living alone, finds great comfort in a pet. They are such good company when a person has no family in residence. Even talking to one’s pet is relaxing and satisfying to an animal lover. This is why some nursing homes are adding pets to their facilities. The elderly folks love them to pet and hold and talk to!

For these reasons, it is so unfortunate that so many residential complex managers refuse to allow pets. If they are allowed at all, often the “pet deposit” required is more than a tenant can afford in addition to other moving expenses. A young single mother, for example, or a retiree on a fixed income is hard put to pay these deposits.

The excuse used is that the pets are “destructive”…as opposed to what? How about destructive children or even adults? Pets are as clean and non-destructive as their owners.

It is a shame that people are deprived of a beloved pet because they can’t afford the deposit or simply cannot bring the animal due to complex rules.

Landlords need to be more sensitive to the needs of humans for animal companionship. Families with children, single folks, or the elderly and alone have their lives enhanced by having a pet. Of course, pet owners need to be responsible, and respect property and their neighbors. Pets should be kept clean and safe, and should present no danger to others!

Pet lovers should be able to live in peace with their animals. This, of course, would also mean a limited number of pets, with reasonable guidelines. Also, it should mean a reasonable deposit. Landlords don’t need to deprive tenants of this happiness, or charge $200.00 per cat or dog to discourage pet lovers.

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