Today’s show starts with the story of Deborah Hodge who recently married her cat, India, in a loophole scheme to avoid rental restrictions, which have barred Hodge from bringing animals into the unit. The 49-year-old woman from London devised a plan to marry her cat after already having re-homed three previous pets due to landlords who rejected pet owners from their properties. The single mom of two (humans) now hopes her show of commitment will prove to property owners that India is more than just an animal.
Beyond the extreme measure of marriage, The question of animal rights is large and complex and varies by jurisdiction.
Does a tenant have the right to have a pet living with them? If yes, then are there any limits on the type of pet? Most pet owners have the traditional cat or dog. But where is the line of acceptable? Is it ok to have a tiger as a pet? How about a Wolf? What about a rattle snake or a Python? Pythons that have escaped from pet owners have infested the Everglades and affected the entire ecosystem.
A parakeet is probably fine. How about a rooster or a falcon?
Many landlords charge additional fees if you have a pet. The purpose of these fees is to cover the cost associated with the additional damage that pets are presumed to cause. Above and beyond the additional damage, pets can interfere with the lives of neighbours. Is it Ok for a tenant to leave their dog out on the balcony barking for hours?
The rules vary by jurisdiction. Some cities have implemented local bylaws governing pets.
A study of recent data on pet damage shows a surprising fact. Pets actually cause far less damage statistically than children. Not only that, you can increase your revenue with pets in a way that you cannot with children. In my opinion Landlords should be embracing pets as an additional source of revenue and where necessary put the policies and cleaning that will keep a top quality rental property in top condition.
Host: Victor Menasce