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Animals 2018, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030032

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

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
2
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
3
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
4
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
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
Full-Text   |   PDF [382 KB, uploaded 27 February 2018]   |  

Simple Summary

In rental housing policy, pets are rarely considered as valued household members. Instead, landlords and property managers are often permitted to ban pets outright, or to advertise them as merely negotiable in their listings for rental housing. In fact, previous research has shown that moving and renting are key reasons for animal relinquishment. To reduce the number of animals that are given up each year due to housing issues, we surveyed landlords and property managers about their perspectives towards pets. Also, because younger adults are disproportionately tenants and because dogs are often banned from rental housing, we interviewed younger tenants with dogs about their recent experiences in the rental market. Our results confirm that dog owners face difficulties in finding rental housing. To keep their pets, tenants made compromises on where and how they lived, which held consequences for their health and that of their pets. Suggestions for improvement are provided, as are implications for research, policy, and practice.

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: pets; dogs; rental housing; tenants; younger adults; moving; animal relinquishment; animal welfare pets; dogs; rental housing; tenants; younger adults; moving; animal relinquishment; animal welfare
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Graham, T.M.; Milaney, K.J.; Adams, C.L.; Rock, M.J. “Pets Negotiable”: How Do the Perspectives of Landlords and Property Managers Compare with Those of Younger Tenants with Dogs? Animals 2018, 8, 32.

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