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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Getting a cat in a rental

Hi everyone, just wanting to get some advice.

I am currently in a rental unit, have been here for nearly two years, never had an issue. I keep the place immaculate and always pay rent on time - my landlords are extremely happy with me.

When I moved in, there was a 'no pets' agreement, which was fine as I wasn't financially able to care for a kitty. However, I'm in a much more stable situation now and very much want a cat!

I've had cats before so am very well aware of what it takes to care for them and have thought long and hard about this.

I would just like some advice from anyone (probably someone in a similar situation ) as to how I might go about talking to my landlords into letting me get a kitty. I don't want to go behind their backs about it, but I can't see any reason there would be an issue.

My apartment is fully tiled (no carpet anywhere) and is completely furnished by me, so there is nothing a cat could possible damage in the unit - and as I mentioned earlier I take very good care of the place. I am planning to stay here for quite a while yet so wouldn't be uprooting a cat a lot.

Does anyone have any advice how to go about it, or any stories from a similar situation?

Thanks - sorry for the long post!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 05:57 AM

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I can wish you good luck - in my previous house (which was rented), I contacted the landlord and asked if they would relax the no-pets (and offered to lay down another 3 months rental as deposit).

They refused.

All you can do is ask them, and if they say no ask if there is anything you can do - pointing out there is nothing to do damage.

Again good luck, I hope your landlord is more reasonable than mine was!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 06:06 AM
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Your best bet is to be as informed as possible without sounding like a smart Aleck when you present your case. You want to present your case to the jury, backed up with lots of facts and evidence ;}

Be ready to inform them details like:

-Whether you will be getting a longhair/shorthair (shedding could be an issue to their minds)

-How you will keep it groomed

-How you will keep it from shredding the furniture/walls/etc. (I know a cat isn't likely to try to destroy WALLS, but they could chew or scratch baseboards or something - and I know the furniture is yours, but this still might be an issue if the cat is felt as being "destructive")

-How it will be fed (in case they worry about left-out kibble attracting ants, pests, or vermin - btw kibble is horrible for cats, don't feed it kibble!)

-Be ready to prove (within reason) that you are financially able to care for a cat, including provisions for emergencies, while still being able to make rent on time (in case they worry about "my cat ate some string and the vet bill was $2,000 so I need another week on rent")

-Where you will keep the litterbox and how you will manage odor control

-Be ready and willing to negotiate a security deposit/pet deposit (within reason)

-How you will stop it from yowling, disturbing other nearby renters, or escaping the house

-Ask what their reasons are for no-pets if they still say no, and offer to work with them to deal with the reasons

I'm really trying to think of some of the worst-case scenarios/things they might say, so some of these sound pretty ludicrous and/or cold-hearted, I know XD

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 07:41 AM
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I had a cat in a no pets apartment. When I asked permission to bring in a cat, I told them I was considering moving if I couldn't get a cat. They didn't want to lose me as a tenant so they let me have the cat. I don't know if you are prepared to do that, though. I was very nice about it but I made my point.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 09:25 AM
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My landlord has a no pets policy. I simply asked if we could have a cat. He agreed to one. I had to put down a pet deposit and my rent was increased by $25 per month. I really didn't mind the increase since he had only increased the rent once before in the 7 years that we had lived here.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:57 PM
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When we were looking to rent our current apartment, it had a strictly "No pets" policy. I contacted the landlord and told him that my fiancee and I are immaculate people who take care of our apartment. I told him that we have two Persians who are well-behaved, fully litter-box trained, and healthy - and offered vet references and references from my current (at the time) apartment manager and maintenance men. I also offered to pay a monthly pet fee. At first, he declined and told me he was firm on no pets. But the next day, after thinking about it and discussing it with his wife, he responded and agreed to rent to us.

It is ALWAYS worth a try. I've had landlords tell me (when looking for places in the past) that the only reason they say "no pets" is to weed out the irresponsible pet owners whose pets destroy their properties. But if a good, responsible pet owner contacts them, they're willing to make an exception.

Since you've already proven that you're a great renter, you're in an even better place. I would kindly ask your landlord about it - say you want to adopt a well-behaved cat who will be fully vetted and spayed/neutered. Offer to pay a deposit and/or monthly fee.

Cats, in general, are very quiet and well-behaved. If you offer a cat tree and cat scratchers, they (usually) won't claw anything else, especially not to a point of destruction. My landlords were much more willing to allow cats than dogs because of how quiet they are and their small size (less destruction).
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:04 PM
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At our shelter, we contact the landlords of all renting adoption applicants directly. Plus we obtain the LL's pet policy (if they only allow one, we won't adopt two; if they only allow declawed, we will only adopt out one of our previously declawed cats, etc).

I think by doing this, we let property owners and managers know that we as an adoption shelter want to work within their rules, so they will be more willing to allow our cats into their rentals.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 02:26 PM
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I've gotten landlords to change their mind before I moved in, but not during. Having tile and owning the furniture are two great points in your favor.

The biggest issue, once you're already in there, is that if it's their policy and they change it for you, they'll have to change it for everyone living there. How many units are in your building?

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 10:02 AM
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When I had to move in October, one of the top priorities was finding a cat-friendly place. My landlord changed his no-pets policy.

You may have to be ready to pay a little more rent. Maybe get togetheer with some other tenants who would like a pet, and N-I-C-E-L-Y ask?

an added note. My LL recently rescued a Cocker Spaniel. She's chocolate colored, and her name's Tootsie!

Last edited by bluemilk; 02-06-2016 at 10:05 AM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 12:58 AM
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You can ask, and maybe offer more of a security deposit, pay more rent a month for the cat. The landlord might be motivated by more money.

The problem is (having been a landlord), is renting out after a pet has been allowed. Some folks are allergic to pets and will not rent from those places. Animals can cause a lot of damage to a property (peeing, puking, hair, etc...)

That said, we rented for 10 months during a relocation. We had cats who were living with relatives until we got a house, but that didn't work out. I ended up sneaking that cat into my "no pets" apartment. That was not easy. They were coming in all the time to check this or that, adjust pipes, work on the water, etc.... I had to hide that cat and all evidence (and we never got caught AND got full deposit back when we moved). I think most of my neighbors had dogs. The folks downstairs appeared to own two huge Husky dogs!
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