Pet Ownership Discrimination

I’ve never cared for realtors.

When it comes to renting in my opinion (and experience) an industry where people collect thousands of dollars for doing something that a person can do themselves in  under a half an hour is a parasitic industry.

In all the many times I’ve  rented apartments over the years I have not once had a real estate agent call to confirm my references. In this internet age credit checks can be handled by any website service in a matter of moments which just leaves having someone at the property to meet prospective renters.

So how this industry has managed to bamboozle the public into thinking they have a necessary value that justifies what they charge is beyond me but I’m guessing it’s one of those “but it’s always been this way!” things.

I recognize that since real estate agents are here to stay you therefore need to make the best out of the relationship when you’re stuck dealing with them. For this reason I’ve never voiced complaint beyond the typical grumbling one does over drinks with friends.

Until now.

I answered an ad for an apartment in West New York, NJ that was run on craigslist for two apartments being rented by a JYSON PROPERTIES, LLC.

The agent cheerfully stated he was happy to help me out and if I’d call back the next day between 4:30 and 5:00PM he would arrange a showing of the apartments in question.

I called the next day and the agent immediately informed me that the apartments had been rented.  I’ve noticed that when it comes to dealing with real estate agents apartments shown in ads are always rented when you arrange to go see them (curious, that).

The agent offered to find me another apartment. During the course of our conversation I commented that it would be myself, my wife and our four cats inhabiting the rental unit.

The agent immediately replied;  “Oh I don’t have any apartments for someone with four cats.”

I was amazed at the ridiculousness of such an attitude.  I was tempted to ask if he had a “no four children” policy as well but I’ve found that when dealing with people who hold to policies that are based on positions not grounded in logic and fact, positions that are inherently stupid there’s little point in arguing with them.

I did further investigation and soon realized that this attitude which had always been rather prevalent in the rental market had grown in such scope that property renters now felt comfortable asking for “pet fees” (an additional cost to the rent for having pets).

I’m aware that this agent’s attitude is based on the belief that;  “Pets are destructive”.  A belief that is based largely in anecdotal stories and not on actual fact.

I give you: Rental Industry’s idea of peer reviewed evidence.

After all, if one Google searches for studies such as;

“Statistics on costs of rental repairs based on type of pet, breed and age” or “Cost of repairs of non-pet rentals vs cost of repairs for pet-family rentals”  there’s nothing out there.  They don’t exist because no one has collected the data. Instead we have an industry that sets policy that directly affects the well being of American families based on opinion.

Based on my own experiences?

I’d guess that children are far more destructive than pets (especially neutered cats).  Just recalling the damage  my friends and I did as kids (knocking holes in walls seems to be a rite of passage for boys) let alone the damage I’ve witnessed done at the hands of the children of friends and family leads me to ask the question;

“Why are there no “children fees” to match the “pet fees”?  Why is there no discrimination against couples with children?”

(Suspected Answer: Realtors would if they could.  But the law treats children as individuals and pets as property so the rental industry feels they can freely discriminate against and take advantage of pet owners despite such discrimination being a clear rights violation).

Another question I’d ask is;

“Considering renters are required to pay a deposit to cover the cost of any damages, why do you presume to pretend that the cost of end of lease repairs aren’t covered by that deposit?”

I suspect the answer could best be summed up as;

“It’s easier (ie; cheaper) to assume the worst and not do the work required to not use a broad brush to address the issue.  If we did that work why, we might actually earn our keep!”

Approximately 6-8 million dogs and cats enter the shelter system every year.  Of that number 3-4 million are euthanized.  Perhaps if Real Estate agencies like Jyson Properties  didn’t take part in this unwarranted cycle of discrimination against pet owners America wouldn’t have to kill millions of pets on a yearly basis.
People develop strong emotional attachments to their pets. These pets become members of the family.
Supporting discriminatory policies that encourage people to treat these beloved family members as disposable is incredibly harmful to what we consider the moral fiber of the American family.

It trains people to think that;  “Things we love are disposable”.  For those who think that this attitude of disposability towards things we love would never be applied to human beings?

You clearly haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in American society today.

Do your part.

Speak out against the growing practice of Pet Ownership Discrimination.


2 thoughts on “Pet Ownership Discrimination

  1. I am lower income and have been for some time.So, when we did rent it was often in poor neighborhoods.When I did rent it seemed to me odd that many other renters just did not care about maintaining the place they lived. It was as if they just didn’t value the rental at all and were on the whole appauling house keepers (and even sloppier parents.) In those cases it is probably kindness they weren’t allowed to own pets.However, it is also why finding a home I could take our cat to when our rental was sold was impossible.Not having a huge chunk of disposable income (and a family of 5) the deposits for a cat were out of the question.I was quite sad and angry that the screening had less to do with how well a future renter could keep a home than the pets they wanted to own.The damage deposit is what should cover any repairs to a place, anyway.

  2. Even Crazier. I am looking for a house to buy, thats right buy and on the paperwork of a house I was interested in the current owner requested not pets. I don’t understand how they can have say over someone owning a pet when they don’t own the house anymore, someone else does. That is ridiculous.

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