November 14, 2016 / By: Hanna Archutowska

Pets, owners and apartments

Pets, Pet-Friendly Apartments, Apartment Tips, Apartment Rentals, Tenant Tips
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To allow, or not to allow, pets into apartment rentals – a decision all property managers must make.

Most managers have endless horror stories of irresponsible pet owners. Even though those stories are created by only about 5-10% of pet owners they ruin the chances for others to find rental places where pets are accepted.

Cats and dogs can be a human's greatest friend. There are several benefits to having pets. They help to relieve stress, give emotional pleasure, help reduce anxiety, and motivate us to move around. Latest studies also show that they can reduce allergy sensitivity in kids.

A mutual bond – so nice.

Having pets also comes with big responsibilities, especially when you are living with neighbors separated by a mere wall.

The primary issue with dogs is the noise. Most of them bark, some bark when their owners are gone, some bark when their owners are home, and some bark all the time. This can certainly be annoying if it is happening on a daily basis.

Another headache is when dog owners don't pick up the dog waste, especially when they are taken out in areas where kids play as well.

Irresponsible dog owners take dogs out without a leash. Even the best-behaved dogs should be on the leash at all times, unless in a dog park. When there are many dog owners in a building, it becomes an issue when dogs get together with other dogs; even well-behaved dogs can be provoked by another dog. Most of the dog attacks we've had to deal with were provoked by certain breeds of dogs, breeds we no longer accept in our buildings.

Responsible dog.

From our horror list we had a dog that grabbed another dog by its backside and severely injured his pelvis. We had a dog that ate another dog when both dogs were off the leash, we had a dog off the leash that caused another dog's heart attack, we had dogs that completely destroys suite doors, trying desperately to get away when their owners were not home, we had dogs that were never taken out and the entire suite was their bathroom.

Canadians are also huge cat lovers. Approximately 70% of tenants are cat owners. Here again, a small percentage of tenants create 90% of all of the issues.

I was so disgusted by how some of the cat owners lived, that for years I hated all cats. It wasn't till one little kitty was brought to my house and captured my heart.

Now I know that cats are emotional, they need attention but also give you all of theirs. They are playful and very clean. It breaks my heart and angers me to see cat litter boxes not cleaned for days and the poor animals are forced to go elsewhere, as they will not use a dirty litter box.

The biggest landlord challenges with cats are heavy odor if they are not spayed or neutered. Ripped carpets when they have no scratching posts, flea carriers when they allowed to wander around.

As it is hard to find places that accept exotic animals, more and more often tenants are sneaking them in without informing the managers.

I've seen cats hidden in washers and dryers during a manager's inspection. We've had snakes that escaped suites and crawled into the hallway and some that escaped and were never found. We've had tarantulas walking loose inside the suite and iguanas walked outside on a leash. We've had chinchillas, chameleons, birds, hamsters, rats, ferrets and rabbits occupying their own bedrooms.

Are pets a manager's nightmare? Not really! Their owners can be though! Please respect your pets and neighbours so we can all live in harmony. (Mainstreet Equity's pet policy can be found online under specific property listings.)

Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly-traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK. Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.