Apartment hunting, cats and frustration

Not pit worthy - I just need to

I’m in the process of looking for a new apartment, in another state. Yes, this means I got a job, for all of those who have followed the adventures of finding a job after finishing a master’s degree. Only 3 months - not too bad, really. And I’m excited about the job.
The apartment hunt, however, is not going to well. The problem is that I have two cats. Apparently, this is a problem in the Youngstown, OH area. Lots of places will accept one cat, more still refuse to take any pets at all. Those that will take more than one cat, however, are rare.

“Hi, I’m moving to the Youngstown area, and I saw your apartments on (name an apartment site).”

“Sure, what size were you interested in?”

“The two bedroom, if possible. Oh, and what’s your pet policy? I currently have two cats, both are declawed and both are fixed.”

“I’m sorry, our policy is one cat only. The deposit for that is (range from $200-$250) with no exceptions to the one cat policy.”

“Ok, thank you.” (sometimes, if they haven’t specifically said there are no exceptions, I’ll ask if it’s possible to pay double the fee for two cats. So far…the answer has been no).

Hang up, sigh, look at cats, get teary-eyed and wonder what I’ll do if I don’t find a place that will take two cats. The other day, I did have a good cry about it, what with the frustration.
That said, what do I do if I can’t find a place that will take them. It hurts to even think of it, but I have to have a place to live - part of me says that I could find someone to take them, and then move into a place that allows one, and get another one once I’m settled and such. And part of me wants to hit me for even thinking of such a thing - because what if I don’t find anyone to take them and then I have to take them to the shelter - and what if they don’t get adopted? I can’t even imagine dropping them off there. I’d be in tears before I was out the door.

I’m still hopeful that I’ll find a place that will let me keep both of them. I’m trying to dig through the classified ads in the online edition of their paper - without a clue what any neighborhoods are like there. Yeah, it’s fun.

As a former leasing agent, my advice to you is: lie.

Tell them you have one cat, and if they ever find out you have two, claim you got the second one after you moved in. Evicting someone for this kind of thing would be way too much of a hassle, especially if you pay your rent on time. Beleive me, we often had people get dogs and not tell us for months or years and there was little we could do, except charge more pet fees.

Landlord/tennant law is written heavily in the tennant’s favor, evicting someone for a reason other than non-payment or criminal activity is expensive and usually almost impossible.

Chances are, they’ll never know you have two kitties and once you’re in, Bob’s your uncle.



Have you looked into leasing a house? Usually the pet policies are more lenient.
If that’s not an option, let me call around. I may be in Michigan now, but I’m Youngstown born. I’ve got family all over that place. Maybe someone knows of a place…

ps. what’s the new career? & be careful where you live. Yo-town’s got quite the ghetto now.

You might also want to look here . It’s the Youngstown Vindicator’s (local newspaper) classifieds for rentals.

I know the feeling. When I was looking for a place to live (locally) I had two cats and a dog. The first thing I would ask about was the pet policy - if the answer was no pets allowed, I’d just thank them and hang up. I called around for weeks before I found a place that would take my dog. I ended up having to take a condo that was larger and more expensive than I wanted but allowed dogs. At no time was giving up any of my pets an option.

Or likethat_darn_cat said, sneak them in.

Good luck!

I had this problem a bit when finding our current apartment. We had a dog and a cat at the time. Most places around here take either one animal or one dog (under 15 pounds). I try to explain to them that it’s much more likely that a mini chihuahua is going to make a lot more noise than my sleepy 60 lb mutt, but they won’t have it.

We found a place (a duplex) that is:

  1. in our price range
  2. allows animals (with a $150 dep!)
  3. big enough for all our crap
  4. in a nice neighborhood
  5. allowed us to get a pound cat with no extra deposit

Now… if we could just get the neighbors’ cigarette smoke to stop seeping into our side, we’d be perfect.

I guess my point is, it can be done. It took me hours and hours of searching, but there ARE places that will allow pets. Houses, duplexes and smaller leasing companies are the best places to check.

I also suggest lying. My upstairs neighbors had a black lab (75 lbs or so) in a complex that allowed one cat or dog (under 10 lbs).

I suggest fur dye and not allowing more than one cat in the window at a time. :wink:

Seriously, though, I would go with the lying thing too, but my apartment manager found us out and tried to charge me retro-pet rent from the beginning of my lease - over $2000.

And it was the same freaking manager that had told me she’d let me slide because I had been there in good standing well before the Pet Rent nonsense started.

Ass munches. :mad:

I’m just glad I had sense enough to get it in writing from her, because then I just had to fax her her letter approving it.
Then I moved. :smiley:

Good luck with it!

You won’t hear me say this often but I agree with the first advice you got…lie. Its not like they will ever really bother to check and if they did find out there isn’t much they can realistically do. One cat, two cats…no big difference.

I don’t know abut your state regulations, but here in Ontario it is illegal to discriminate against pet owners. That said, I know it happens, often, though it is still nonetheless illegal according to the tenet act. Cite (see section 15) Best of luck.

Lsura, if worse comes to worse, I’ll be more than happy to take one of your kittys (I had to take the best dog I’ve ever owned to a shelter, so I know what that’s like), and give him/her a good home (heck, I’ll even let you come by and visit your cat). You wouldn’t even have to drive over to this end of the state to drop the kitty off, my mom lives in Columbus, OH (which should be on your way), we could meet there, if you liked. That said, be very careful about where you pick to live in Youngstown. Parts of the city are as bad as it gets. You might be better off checking places like Warren (which, if memory serves is pretty closeby).

Another vote for lying. The rules of an apartmentbuilding are not an end in themself, they are means to an end, the end being that everybody lives comfortably in the apartment. If they allow one pet, you can be sure no-one in the block suffers from severe pet-allergies, so the imho best reason not to bring pets with you doesn’t apply.

The person om the phone your’re talking to doesn’t care if you bring in zero or ten cats. What matters to her, is that no-one can blame her for not following the rules. Make it easy for her, for your pets, for yourself: lie, sneak in both cats and make painfully sure they dont’t annoy your neighbours.

Congratulations on the job, at least - good to know somebody’s getting hired. :slight_smile:

I know I certainly don’t have a cat in my “no pets” apartment and her name certainly isn’t Rachel.

looks around nervously

I OWN my apartment, and I only found out after I’d moved in that no pets are allowed. I’m pretty sure most of the neighbours know that I have two cats, but htey don’t bother anyone else, so they don’t comment. The problem as far as I’m concerned is that I hadn’t imagined that they would have to be indoor cats, and I feel bad about that for their sakes.

Having made those irrelevant comments, I’d advise you to do as everyone else says, and smuggle them in.

Count me as another vote for kitty contraband. Just be careful if you have any regular service to the apartment like pest control, etc. that allows the superintendent staff to enter your apartment (although they are supposed to give you notice before they do).

I went through the same thing with my cats when I moved out here. It’s hard to find a place, it really is. I used www.allapartments.com to help me sort out where might work for me. They have a checklist where you can enter the amenities you need, and it brings up the places that match.

Other suggestions are renting from an individual, or calling a realtor…some of them handle rental properties, or could tell you whom to talk to.

Good luck on the housing situation…congrats on the new job! :slight_smile:

The good news is that I’ve found a management company that allows two cats in some of their complexes. I’m going to pay crazy pet deposits, but that’s what I’m going to have to do. I’ve also e-mailed some future co-workers, and at least two of them live in complexes owned by this company and said that they’re decent places to live - along with advice on what parts of town to live in.

This is good, because I’m highly uncomfortable with the lying concept - it’s just me, but I don’t lie well at all. It shows in my face and anyone who has spoken to me for 10 minutes can tell.

Tuckerfan thanks for the offer, really. If I hadn’t talked to some of these complexes, I really would have considered it, even though I hated the idea of splitting them up. I’ve also heard that about various parts of Youngstown, and that made me even more wary of calling places from the online classifieds without knowing where they actually were - because I don’t want to end up someplace I don’t feel safe.

Zsofia, yeah for as discouraging as it was for a while, there are jobs out there. My being able to relocate made a difference in my job search, but you’ll get something full time soon. You finished in May, right? That’s only three months - I think a lot of my frustration came because I saw most of my friends have jobs waiting for them at graduation, then they were able to take off for new places while I was stuck in Knoxville, with no idea of when I’d be moving on.