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Animals (Basel). 2018 Feb 27;8(3). pii: E32. doi: 10.3390/ani8030032.

"Pets Negotiable": How Do the Perspectives of Landlords and Property Managers Compare with Those of Younger Tenants with Dogs?

Author information

1
Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. grahamtm@ucalgary.ca.
2
Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca.
3
O'Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca.
4
Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. cadams@ucalgary.ca.
5
O'Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. cadams@ucalgary.ca.
6
Department of Veterinary Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. cadams@ucalgary.ca.
7
Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. mrock@ucalgary.ca.
8
O'Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. mrock@ucalgary.ca.
9
Department of Ecosystem & Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. mrock@ucalgary.ca.

Abstract

Previous research has shown that housing insecurity contributes to animal relinquishment and that tenants with dogs face disadvantages in the rental market. Still, little is known about how dog owners navigate rental markets, nor how landlords and property managers perceive dogs and other pets. This case study reports on in-depth interviews with younger tenants with dogs and on open-ended survey responses from landlords and property managers. In their housing searches, tenants with dogs reported feeling powerless in negotiations and feeling discriminated against. They described settling for substandard properties, often located in less desirable neighborhoods. Also, some said they felt obliged to stay put in these rentals, given how difficult it had been to find a place that would accommodate their dogs. Meanwhile, landlords and property managers indicated that listings advertised as "pet-friendly" tend to receive more applicants than listings in which pets are prohibited. Suggestions for improvement included meeting pets prior to signing the lease; getting everything in writing; steering clear from furnished units; charging utilities to tenants; and speeding up the pet approval process when dealing with condominium boards. These suggestions offer implications for future research, partnerships, and policy options to improve the prospects of pets and their people in rental housing.

KEYWORDS:

animal relinquishment; animal welfare; dogs; moving; pets; rental housing; tenants; younger adults

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