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More ethics: Tell potential landlords about cats?

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
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So here's my dilemma:

I'm in the final stage of interviews for a job in a new city. If I get the job, DH and I will sell our condo and rent in the new city since neither of us have ever lived there before and we don't feel comfortable buying with so many unknowns. We're trying to arrange some viewings while we're in town for my site visit next week. Unfortunately, almost every landlord we've spoken to says no pets. Here's the issue, as of 2006, its illegal to include a provision in a lease banning pets. In my province, any such provision is void because it's considered discriminatory. This means its perfectly legal for me to sign a lease in a no pet building, and still bring my cats. Once we're in, its also illegal to evict based on the presence of pets.

So I know my rights, but I feel like its underhanded to move the cats in behind the landlords back like that. I want to tell them, but DH doesn't because there are only a few rental opportunities in the area we're looking at and he's worried they'd find some other reason to deny renting to us if they knew about the cats.

I really don't know what to do. Part of me wants to be honest so we don't get off on the wrong foot, but part of me is annoyed that they're blatantly ignoring the law by continuing to ban pets.

Decisions decisions.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
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7,378
Point the law out to them.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
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dragonfly411|1314110739|2997355 said:
Point the law out to them.

I planned on going armed with highlighted photocopies! DH is worried that they would find another reason to refuse renting to us. They can deny our application without giving us a reason. In that case, it would be hard to prove that its a pet issue (although our credit and income are good so we'd know the truth!). Basically they can ignore the law and deny renting to us if we tell them about the cats beforehand, but if we've been approved then they can't change their decision based on the cats.

ETA: We're not legally obligated to tell them about pets during the application process so that's where we're running in to problems.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
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They're ... cats. What are they going to do, miaow the landlord into penury?

In my city, it's the exact opposite - landlords can and will evict over pets - so I always disclose, and have the fact that I'm allowed to have them written into the lease. In your case, though, I wouldn't feel an ounce of guilt: they're doing something illegal, so why on earth be the Bigger Person (TM).

As an aside, while I can understand banning large and destructive animals makes sense - I once knew a guy whose Weimaraner dug through an outside wall to create his own doggy door - I've never understood banning cats. Like, 43 cats? Illegal, ban away, it's a health hazard. Little Fluffy, though? How much damage can a single damned cat do?
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Circe|1314111547|2997359 said:
They're ... cats. What are they going to do, miaow the landlord into penury?

In my city, it's the exact opposite - landlords can and will evict over pets - so I always disclose, and have the fact that I'm allowed to have them written into the lease. In your case, though, I wouldn't feel an ounce of guilt: they're doing something illegal, so why on earth be the Bigger Person (TM).

As an aside, while I can understand banning large and destructive animals makes sense - I once knew a guy whose Weimaraner dug through an outside wall to create his own doggy door - I've never understood banning cats. Like, 43 cats? Illegal, ban away, it's a health hazard. Little Fluffy, though? How much damage can a single damned cat do?

Exactly! I'm even being considerate and looking at carpet free rentals to minimize any problems! How much damage can a few little cats really cause? The law does state that you can be evicted if your animal is dangerous, or you have too many and are in violation of a city bylaw. In my case, I have 3 cats and the city bylaw says to keep it under 4 without a special permit. The tenant is also liable for all damage caused by the pets, which makes perfect sense to me. I don't get why its turning in to such a problem!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 17, 2008
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25,414
Normally I'm all about the truth but in the case I think I might not say anything. I kind of feel like your hubby in that they
may find other reasons to not let you rent. Its a bummer that they are saying no pets when its illegal for them to do so.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
chemgirl|1314111903|2997362 said:
Circe|1314111547|2997359 said:
They're ... cats. What are they going to do, miaow the landlord into penury?

In my city, it's the exact opposite - landlords can and will evict over pets - so I always disclose, and have the fact that I'm allowed to have them written into the lease. In your case, though, I wouldn't feel an ounce of guilt: they're doing something illegal, so why on earth be the Bigger Person (TM).

As an aside, while I can understand banning large and destructive animals makes sense - I once knew a guy whose Weimaraner dug through an outside wall to create his own doggy door - I've never understood banning cats. Like, 43 cats? Illegal, ban away, it's a health hazard. Little Fluffy, though? How much damage can a single damned cat do?

Exactly! I'm even being considerate and looking at carpet free rentals to minimize any problems! How much damage can a few little cats really cause? The law does state that you can be evicted if your animal is dangerous, or you have too many and are in violation of a city bylaw. In my case, I have 3 cats and the city bylaw says to keep it under 4 without a special permit. The tenant is also liable for all damage caused by the pets, which makes perfect sense to me. I don't get why its turning in to such a problem!

Ditto Circe-I wouldn't tell either. If you point out the law to them they'll think you're a problem tenant and won't want to deal with you.

I also don't get apartments with no cat rules. I've also seem some ads for apartments online that say cats have to be de-clawed, and these are places with hardwood floors! Um...cat claws won't hurt hardwood floors, or drywall. Or they have a 2 cat rule-how is one more cat an issue? (I have 3.)

Dogs on the other hand are definitely destructive. I know of 2 dogs who have destroyed doors in houses, and these are pretty well-behaved dogs! Another friend of mine's dog tore up the carpet by the door when he left one day. A kitty would never do that-they don't care when you leave! :cheeky:



The only issue I could see a landlord having is if a cat peed all over the place, because cat urine is the worst!
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
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Out of curiosity over the legal issues, in which province was the 2006 law protecting pets enacted?
 

audball

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
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4,946
I wouldn't say anything. I just moved into a new condo in June and while the landlord does permit pets, for cats he wanted a $400 pet FEE, that was non-refundable. Not a deposit, a fee. Dogs were $600 for smaller ones, and up to $1,000 for bigger ones, again a FEE. I only have one cat. He is 9 years old, happens to be declawed, and the entire apartment is tiled. With no carpet and a declawed 9 year old cat who is going to sleep all day, I couldn't fathom paying a $400 fee on top of first, last, and security to move in.

With the law being on your side, I wouldn't say a thing. I feel your husband is right, and that with limited rental opportunities, they would likely deny you for some other reason (even if it's not a valid one) so that they dont' have to rent to you. If you know your cats, know that they will/won't do, take neceassry precautions, do your due diliigence, and keep your mouth shut. The landlord will never know.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
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1,948
I agree with your hubby and thing2of2. Pointing out the law to someone who clearly doesn't agree with it and who feels that it's his property, he'll make his own rules, isn't going to endear you to a potential landlord. I would bring in the cats and if they were ever discovered I'd claim they were strays that showed up on the doorstep so I took them in. But, that's me -- I'll often twist ethical dilemmas to suit my own needs if common sense is on my side, never mind the law!

I'm also curious as to which province. What a great law! For me, one of the biggest joys of finally being a homeowner was never again having to worry about a place for my cats!
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,328
fleur-de-lis|1314114868|2997412 said:
Out of curiosity over the legal issues, in which province was the 2006 law protecting pets enacted?

Ontario

"No pet" provisions void

14. A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void. 2006, c. 17, s. 14.

http://www.ontariotenants.ca/law/act02.phtml#RTA14

There is a more detailed version on a government website.
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
Since they can't legally be doing what they're doing, but might very well screw you if you disclose or point out the law, plus they can't evict you, I wouldn't tell them.

In my first apartment, I didn't tell and then worried every time the maintenance people came. In my second apartment, they knew and were okay with the cats. For the apartment I just leased, I told them about the cats, but the leasing agent told me to say I didn't have cats (saving the $500 pet fee and $40/month cat rent). Here's hoping that does not come around and bite me in the butt!

I will laugh at the idea that cats aren't destructive, though. My cats have ruined the blinds, barfed to stain the carpet, and also clawed a giant hole in the window screen when I left for work with the window opened...and then escaped down the tree outside the window. Man I love them.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
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How interesting, since the last place I've ever rented was Toronto, Ont., with two cats. This was in the late 80s - early 90s. What a hassle it was to find the perfect place and then have a landlord reluctant to rent to people with two cats. Good luck with your job and move!
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
10,794
At least here, if it says no pets and you bring them in anyway without permission that is a violation of your contract and they can evict you with no notice. Further, for people like me who are violently allergic to cats, and many other animals with fur, I can tell when someone has them in their apartment/condo/home, even if I am in an adjoining unit. They have the ability to actually kill me with their dander and fur. So I would be pretty pissed if I found out my neighbor in a no-pets facility decided they were better than the "rules". And I have a feeling it would cost the landlord a lot of tenants.

I would be honest, with the law on your side they cannot deny you. They might be able to charge you more though.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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24,364
I would not tell them. It is illegal for them to stipulate no pets so it is really none of their business if you have them!

You can always say you got them after you moved in if you are discovered and politely point out the law at that time 8)
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,984
Since it isn't a matter of a refundable cleaning deposit -- you could potentially be honest and have no where to live -- I would NOT tell them.

You know your cats and what they will or won't do. If you are comfortable bringing them into a rental home and covering any damage that may occur, then just bring them along and don't mention that you have them. I don't think you should lie and try to hide them as long as you live there, just long enough to get the lease signed and moved in.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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ame|1314116505|2997436 said:
At least here, if it says no pets and you bring them in anyway without permission that is a violation of your contract and they can evict you with no notice. Further, for people like me who are violently allergic to cats, and many other animals with fur, I can tell when someone has them in their apartment/condo/home, even if I am in an adjoining unit. They have the ability to actually kill me with their dander and fur. So I would be pretty pissed if I found out my neighbor in a no-pets facility decided they were better than the "rules". And I have a feeling it would cost the landlord a lot of tenants.

I would be honest, with the law on your side they cannot deny you. They might be able to charge you more though.

While I sympathize, in Ontario there is no legal way for a landlord to ban pets. So they cannot stipulate in lease that no pets are allowed, just as they cannot say no women are allowed or no children! So if someone moved into the apartment ajoining thinking it was a no pets building, then they were simply misinformed about the reality of the situation unfortunately.

I used to live in Ontario and most landlords try to keep renters in the dark about the rule and say "no pets" hoping the renters will not be aware of its illegality :nono:
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,328
ame|1314116505|2997436 said:
At least here, if it says no pets and you bring them in anyway without permission that is a violation of your contract and they can evict you with no notice. Further, for people like me who are violently allergic to cats, and many other animals with fur, I can tell when someone has them in their apartment/condo/home, even if I am in an adjoining unit. They have the ability to actually kill me with their dander and fur. So I would be pretty pissed if I found out my neighbor in a no-pets facility decided they were better than the "rules". And I have a feeling it would cost the landlord a lot of tenants.

We'll agree to disagree on this one. In my province, there is no such thing as a no pet building given the new law. Any rule to this effect is void so I wouldn't be breaking the rules. The long version of the law does state that there can be a hearing with the rental board in the case of severe allergies on the part of the landlord, not sure about other tenants in the building. Arguably its the same as my brother-in-law with the severe peanut allergy. He reacts when somebody in another room has nuts. He has coped by renting in single unit houses. Not ideal, I know.

ETA: I don't think they're allowed to charge more than the going rate for a similar unit in the same building because again, that would be discrimination. There are no security deposits in my province, landlords can only collect first and last months rent so I don't think they can ask for a pet fee.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,328
Dreamer_D|1314116798|2997442 said:
While I sympathize, in Ontario there is no legal way for a landlord to ban pets. So they cannot stipulate in lease that no pets are allowed, just as they cannot say no women are allowed or no children! So if someone moved into the apartment ajoining thinking it was a no pets building, then they were simply misinformed about the reality of the situation unfortunately.

I used to live in Ontario and most landlords try to keep renters in the dark about the rule and say "no pets" hoping the renters will not be aware of its illegality :nono:

I am seeing a few nice townhouses in "mature living" communities. I'm not sure if that's a polite way of saying no children, elderly people only, or something else entirely. I know in the end they can't ban children either, but its an interesting way of deterring renters.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
10,794
Right, I don't live in that province, or even in Canada. I said HERE its like that. But now I know I won't be renting in Canada because I can't be around cats!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
24,364
chemgirl|1314117443|2997457 said:
Dreamer_D|1314116798|2997442 said:
While I sympathize, in Ontario there is no legal way for a landlord to ban pets. So they cannot stipulate in lease that no pets are allowed, just as they cannot say no women are allowed or no children! So if someone moved into the apartment ajoining thinking it was a no pets building, then they were simply misinformed about the reality of the situation unfortunately.

I used to live in Ontario and most landlords try to keep renters in the dark about the rule and say "no pets" hoping the renters will not be aware of its illegality :nono:

I am seeing a few nice townhouses in "mature living" communities. I'm not sure if that's a polite way of saying no children, elderly people only, or something else entirely. I know in the end they can't ban children either, but its an interesting way of deterring renters.

You know, I would be curious about the legality of those types of communities myself now! I know there are many of them, how do they get around it?

What area are you moving to if you don't mind sharing? Is it for work? ETA: ok you said for work, what type of work? Just curious, be as vague as you like!
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,328
Dreamer_D|1314118036|2997468 said:
chemgirl|1314117443|2997457 said:
Dreamer_D|1314116798|2997442 said:
While I sympathize, in Ontario there is no legal way for a landlord to ban pets. So they cannot stipulate in lease that no pets are allowed, just as they cannot say no women are allowed or no children! So if someone moved into the apartment ajoining thinking it was a no pets building, then they were simply misinformed about the reality of the situation unfortunately.

I used to live in Ontario and most landlords try to keep renters in the dark about the rule and say "no pets" hoping the renters will not be aware of its illegality :nono:

I am seeing a few nice townhouses in "mature living" communities. I'm not sure if that's a polite way of saying no children, elderly people only, or something else entirely. I know in the end they can't ban children either, but its an interesting way of deterring renters.

You know, I would be curious about the legality of those types of communities myself now! I know there are many of them, how do they get around it?

What area are you moving to if you don't mind sharing? Is it for work? ETA: ok you said for work, what type of work? Just curious, be as vague as you like!

Hopefully for work! I have had 2 interviews with this company and they want me to come in for a day to see how I fit in to the group. Crossing my fingers that it goes well! Its a research and development position at an engineering/manufacturing type company. I currently work as a process engineer, but I'm looking for something more interesting (the process I work on is about 70 years old!). I would be moving to the kitchener/waterloo area ish. There are a lot of rentals in that area, but we want to move close to my office so there are fewer options.
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
I always feel the truth is better....except the rarity where it isn't. This is one of those. I lived in a no pet apt. once & took in a cat that neighbors (who had her illegit) neglected horribly. Never mentioned it to the landlords. What was she gonna do, a 9-lb. cat wreck the place? A couple years later a super was fixing some plumbing when my cat sashayed past him. Oh, I gasped, that is my friend's cat, visiting. "Cat?" he grinned. "What cat? I didn't see anything." Great guy.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
In the UK it is more normal for rented apartments/houses to be NO pets - but you can usually try and apply for permission.

DH and I are landlords and have a no pets policy as far as dogs and cats are concerned. If a tenant moved in with either, DH would only have to put his head round the door to have a massive allergic reaction. He's sensitive enough that even meeting someone is enough to know that they have one or the other as fur/dander on their clothing will set him off.

On the other hand, we allow most other animals - heck, we keep pythons and a small child...

Personally I would be upfront about the law with them.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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5,338
If it's the law, don't say a damn thing. It took me and my husband about a year of looking in our area to find a place that would take a cat that we could afford. If we could have gotten away without saying anything we would have. We finally found a place that would take a couple with two cars and a cat, it was a nightmare!

Good luck!
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
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Jul 28, 2008
Messages
701
I think honesty is the best policy - we are landlords as well and our current tenants have two cats and two children. Sounds awful but she is lovely and we have had it added into the contract that they will deep clean all of the carpets (its unfurnished) and make sure that any wear or tear caused by the cats is rectified. When she moved in she also made it known to me that her cats are neutered, vaccinated and flea'd and wormed reguarly. Communication is really important with renting - I am fine with her re painting etc, esp the childrens bedrooms as they need to feel like its their home but we also need to cover our asset and future rental potential. Because she always tells me whats going on I trust her.
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,267
As another person with a cat allergy I would feel pretty hard done by if you ended up in the apartment beside me in what I thought was a pet-free building! However, the landlord is breaking the law, so if you can't find a pet-friendly place I'd have to agree that the only way around it is to not say you have pets.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I'm sorry, but that law sucks. And I'm a cat person. But if I owned a rental and didn't want cats in it, that should be my right. Cat pee is almost impossible to get rid of. Not saying yours do this, I know mine don't. And in your situtation, I'd probably not mention the cats. If he brought it up later you could say you adopted them after you moved in.

BTW- here in Nevada landlords can charge non-refundable deposits. So annoying. I remember calling once on a rental and I asked if pets were okay...the landlord said "anything except cats, God, no cats." Really? I could have a pitbull or a great dane, but no fluffy little kitties?
 

DivaDiamond007

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,828
Since the law is on your side, I would keep my mouth shut. Check and make sure there are no exceptions to the law, and if the landlord finds out at a later date you have the law working in your favor.
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
701
Just to offer another point of view, if I was the landlord and for whatever reason I had requested no cats for this house and knowing this, you moved in with a cat and didn't tell me I would be very upset and would find another reason to terminate the lease asap because I would assume that you are untrustworthy.

Whatever the law states about what you can and cannot do, the house belongs to the landlord and I believe that ethically they have a right to decide wether or not you can bring a pet into the property.
 
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