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Cats in apartments

By bec - 2 August 2008 56

Hi, I wanted to add a comment to the ‘Cats in Apartments’ discussion.

I have been contacted today by my real estate agent for the apartment I rent and they have received a letter about my cat from someone, presumably in consultation with the body corporate.

Having read the discussion here it is nice to know that other people are aware of this incredibly unfair and nasty situation. I’m so disappointed that there seems to be no way of fighting it. I have had my cat for the past 5 years in rentals in the ACT and WA and have never had a problem. I’ve always had 100% of my bond back because my cat doesn’t cause any damage.

A one size fits all rule that does not take into account the type of pet and type of owners is ludicrous. Not many people choose to rent because they want to and if they do its usually because they don’t have a choice. I know lessors will think ”boo hoo for you ” but I really see this as a fundamental human right and the fact that my pet doesn’t do any damage or harm just makes it so unfair.

I’m more than happy to take into account any considerations that effect land lords and most cat most pet owners would be quite prepared to pay any associated costs. If they don’t then apply the ban, on an individual basis.

Its hard enough with the rental and housing situation in Canberra as others have mentioned without another thing that making it even harder. So I will sit in my overpriced rental without my pet. Does that make them happy? I do hope they get good returns for their ‘pet free’ investment.

I can’t see that there will be any change as those with the money always have the power and so its just not an issue a politician would go into bat for, please correct me if I’m wrong. Another writer mentioned a cut of 23 August to do something – can someone tell me what this is?

I’m going to fight a losing battle with the BC I just know it, but maybe I’ll have a few more precious weeks/days with the cat that has seen me through so much… I really don’t know what’s worse, losing my cat or breaking the lease (which is simply not an option) and going back to square one of the Canberra rental market… neither of which I can afford.

What’s Your opinion?


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56 Responses to
Cats in apartments
I-filed 4:14 pm 02 Aug 08

Keep the cat – just brazen out. How can they prove you have one? If a cat is photographed in your window, perhaps it just roamed in!

Thumper 4:11 pm 02 Aug 08

Oddly enough this is something that local government could legislate to resolve…

except they are to busy bringing peace tp Cyprus, or Zambia, or… well somewhere….

sepi 4:08 pm 02 Aug 08

I hope you can find somewhere for the cat to stay. Or else just keep it in, and say you have moved it.

I lived with two cats in a ground floor flat for years and had no problems – I must have been lucky with the neighbours.

There are unit complexes that allow pets – Belray in Mawson does.

Jonathon Reynolds 3:51 pm 02 Aug 08

I like cats too… lets swap recipes…

But seriously… if you knew there was a no pets clause in your lease (or with the body corporate) then you really have no come back. Boarding your cat with a friend until you can sort out alternative arrangements is probably the best advice. I was in a similar situation myself many years ago, except I arranged for my cat to be boarded before I moved.

johnboy 3:03 pm 02 Aug 08

Oddly enough this is something that local government could legislate to resolve…

Wonder if any candidates or partys will pick it up?

It’s a vote clincher for me.

Ruby Wednesday 1:47 pm 02 Aug 08

Hell, even when you buy, if you get one of the lazy body corporates who just blanket ban pets, you’re screwed. However, unless a magical non-body corporate townhouse is for sale for a reasonable price when we start looking, we will only be able to afford a place that won’t even let us have pets in a property we own. Bastards.

vg 12:28 pm 02 Aug 08

I will add that the reason for my question is that if the lease specifies ‘no pets’ then I can’t say I have any real sympathy for your situation, particularly if you knowingly entered into the lease agreement being well aware of the conditions. Whether or not the animal causes any damage or inconvenience is irrelevant. The lease says ‘no pets’ then its no pets. You could be punted from the residence for breaching the lease if the owner/agent was so minded and with the current shortage of rental properties you would be in a world of hurt.

If I owned the property and my agent informed me that the tenant had been keeping a pet in clear contravention of the agreement I would want something done. Damage or not. At the end of the day its the owner’s rules, and a condition of the lease.

How the ‘law’ is allowed to stand is quite easy. You sign a lease that says no pets. If you don’t like the conditions of the lease then you don’t sign. No one puts a gun to your head to sign. You are free to look for a property that suits your needs, as difficult as I appreciate that may be.

What can the OP do about it…….nothing. Move the animal or move yourself. Might sound harsh but that’s reality.

I can’t say I’m entirely unsympathetic to your position, as I have a big attachment to the 2 dogs we have, but we do own the place. Next door has 2 dogs and a cat, in fact everyone around us has pets but they either own the joint (which means its their rules) or else has a lease that allows pets.

You can’t expect anyone to have any real sympathy for you, though, when you knowingly breach your lease from day 1. Owners are virtually free to apply any conditions they like (within legal and discriminatory reason) on the leases for their property. They can state no pets, no dogs/cats, no band practice, only 2 cars allowed, no groups etc etc. It is their rights as owners. Yes, you have rights as a tenant and leasee but the owners will nearly always over-ride yours.

As much as I wanted a pet when I rented I knew I couldn’t have one. This is your reality

ant 11:45 am 02 Aug 08

I’m very sorry to read this, Bec. As someone else asked, do you have any friends or family who can mind the cat for you while you sort it out or find another place to live (not easy, with the current crazy housing situation we’ve created for ourselves)?

I agree there needs to be some sanity added to the laws about renting accommodation. A blanket ban on pet animals is just lazy and I wonder how it is allowed to stand under law? Condemning something with no prior evidence of wrongdoing. This situation is causing needless hardship for too many people and it’s soemthing the government should be addressing.

johnboy 10:38 am 02 Aug 08

It’s what a whole lot of otherwise law abiding people do due to, in most part, the laziness of property managers who can’t be bothered making appropriate arrangements to cover any extra costs incurred by pets.

I’m amazed “no children” hasn’t made it onto a lease yet.

schmerica_ 10:20 am 02 Aug 08

Well, I have a dog. My dog is an inside dog. She would never cause any damage as she is well trained and behaves herself. My dog can’t live with me because my lease states ‘No Pets’. There is no way that people can get away with having a dog in their apartments, especially with body corporates. I miss my dog alot.

Why do people think a cat is any different? What makes cats so much better than dogs?

Your option: Move and don’t tell the new lessors that you have a cat. If they come a’knockin (which they can’t do without written notice) shift the cat elsewhere on that day. That’s what my friend does.

vg 8:50 am 02 Aug 08

Can you just clarify for me (I didn’t read it in the above) that your lease prohibits pets?

smokey4 8:16 am 02 Aug 08

I noticed at CAT at the window of one on my neighbours flat this week. This article reminds me I must dob him in as I hate cats!

Footloose 7:05 am 02 Aug 08

My heart goes out to you Bec.
What a sad, sad world we live in where a neighbour can’t take the effort/care to approach you personally about this topic before running off and whinging to the BC.
They obviously have no balls and no concern for anyone other than themselves.
Perhaps if you can just keep the cat inside? I know its seems cruel but they do get used to it.
And dont actively correspond; the rental dudes might forget about it.

BigDave 1:10 am 02 Aug 08

I don’t know what the big deal is about cats in this town. Everybody seems to hate them, neighbours try to poison them etc. But if you’ve got a dog that looks like it might rip someone’s head off at any given moment then that’s A-Okay…

stonedwookie 1:02 am 02 Aug 08

got any friends that might be able to look after your cat while you find a new place?
you cant get rid of your pet youd miss them alot

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