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Increasing Housing Options for Renters With Pets

Photo by David Welker/AP Images for The HSUS

Did you know that 72% of renters have pets, yet problems finding and keeping rental housing is a leading reason dogs and cats wind up in shelters? It doesn’t have to be that way!

Pets are a part of every community and live in two-thirds of American homes, yet renters often have trouble finding housing that welcomes them. In fact, problems finding and keeping rental housing lead to the surrender of half a million pets to shelters each year, many of whom aren’t lucky enough to find new homes. This is despite rental housing industry claims that up to 78% of apartment buildings accept pets. Why the paradox? Because "pet-friendly" rental housing usually includes weight limits (e.g., no dogs over 25 lbs.) and breed restrictions, effectively excluding most of the nation’s pets. That’s not "pet-friendly" at all.

Welcoming all pets is good for business

Rental housing that welcomes all cats and dogs, regardless of breed or size,  will save hundreds of thousands of lives, and ensure that no family ever has to choose between their pet and their home. And welcoming all pets is good for landlords, too! When landlords accept all cats and dogs, their number of qualified rental applicants dramatically increases, giving them more options for finding great tenants. And those great tenants stay longer, keeping turnover costs low. That means fewer vacancies and lower administrative costs. These advantages come with no downside: policies imposing breed and weight restrictions are based on myths and don't improve resident safety or increase property values. The bottom line for landlords: policies welcoming all cats and dogs make good business sense!

Whether you’re a landlord, a renter, or someone interested in changing housing policies in your community, these resources can help:

Are you a property owner or manager? »
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