Number of Pets in Rental Properties

I’m just curious (I admit nothing) as to how many people have more companion animals living with them than their lease allows. And if so, how many more? Also, do you ever get nervous about being caught and evicted?

In Ohio we were twice asked to either get down to the permitted limit or to kindly relocate–we were NEVER evicted, just asked to make other living arrangements.

City ordnances have pet limits too. Ours in California has a limit of 4.

So apt owners have to make sure they are obeying the city laws.

Cary, NC (Town Motto: “You say ‘anal retentive’ like that’s a BAD thing”) has a 2 dog per household limit. In general, though, it’s not enforced unless someone makes a complaint.

The rule has recently come up for review because someone who has 2 dogs of her own is also an active participant in a dog rescue organization, and apparently one of her neighbors in her little golf course-adjacent subdivision objects to this.

I don’t think it has been decided yet, but it looks as if the “solution” is going to be that we will still have a 2 dog limit, but this will be waived if you are are working with an established animal rescue organization — AND if you receive the permission of your neighbors.

Of course, that last little kicker in there makes the whole revision pointless. They’re even trying to expand on that by saying that the Town should contact the neighbors, and not the resident, so that the neighbors can blackball them anonymously.

When I was renting, I had a dog and two cats. I had to look for awhile for a place that allowed any pets, but I don’t remember the landlord saying anything about a limit.

I live in a house now (owned, not rented) and I know that the city limits dogs to three and cats to four per household. I am at the limit for dogs, but I only have two cats so I could get two more. Heck, I could get ten more cats, how would they know? My kitties are indoor kitties, they never go outside except to the vet.

I have way more animals than any place would ever allow. My apt. complex doesn’t know. I live in fear every day.

City limits–and I do understand them–are generally imposed with the hope and goal of preventing unlicensed (and unscrupulous) breeding practices and to discourage “collecting” which is epitomized (IMHO) by people who have animals in numbers which exceed their ability to provide proper care and ensure health and safety.

PLD and I knew a family that had, IIRC, 12 cats. They were extremely well cared for animals, well loved, and healthy. Their family’s house while cluttered (our friend’s mother saved EVERY magazine she subscribed to I think) was never filthy due to cat waste, hair, etc. They even built a large–at least bedroom sized–fenced enclosure outside including fenced top about 12’ high filled with trees and foliage, etc. so the cats could enjoy the outdoors without ever being in danger of escape or the perils that entails. Someone else may have 2 cats and have it be too many for them to reasonably handle, but I understand that the law does what it can to prevent extreme cases by keeping limits low.

Personally, I was referring in my OP to places that indicate 2 or fewer companion animals (usually cats and carry weight limits of under 25 lbs for dogs). We have 3 cats. Not what I would consider an unreasonable amount. And while they may sometimes have an occasional accident on the carpeting, they are not destructive, and we take care of any accidents asap.

We worry every time we get a note from the apartment complex about entering the apartment that we’ll get busted. We are now looking for a new apartment in a more convenient location, and I was trying to decide how common it is for animal lovers to fib about companion animals and to gauge my paranoia.

For example, it would probably be better to fib about the cats to a complex that accepts 2 cats as opposed to 1 or none permitted…even though none of our cats look alike, unless all 3 are lined up in the window together, I doubt it would be as detectable. Also, they usually run when someone they don’t know enters the apartment, and probably if we took an apartment on a higher floor, it would be even harder to notice there were more than permitted.

Does that clarify the OP a bit more?

I see what you’re saying. If I were you I would come out and say you have three cats and find a place that will allow them. I had to look around for a few months (a lot of phone calls) before I found a place that would accept my menagerie, an apartment “complex” might not be your best bet. Can you rent a small house? Sometimes places like that are more liberal with rules than an apartment complex setting.

I would just be too paranoid that someone would find out about my “illegal” pets and ask me to get rid of one or some, I would rather cut off my own arm than have to part with one of my animals.

Peta, when I was looking for my last apartment I was honest with the rental agents and told them I had three cats. Looked and looked and couldn’t find a thing - nobody would consider it. Finally, one agent said that most places will think that one cat is normal; that two cats are possible if the prospective tenant is otherwise clearly responsible, credit-worthy, gainfully employed, etc.; and that three cats or more screams out “weirdo.” The agent told me I should consider “forgetting” to mention my third cat, which is what I finally ended up doing. At first I lived in fear but since they all ran under the bed anyway when a stranger came in, I eventually didn’t worry too much about it.

If I were looking again, I wouldn’t go to a place where no cats were permitted but I probably would only say that I had two at the most. If they ever saw the third one, I’d say I was cat-sitting for a day and that the third one wasn’t really mine. Just be prepared to move if they ever make a huge issue over it - unless getting rid (!) of one of your pets is an option, which it absolutely never would be for me.

P.S. I think it would be much harder to lie about how many dogs a person has.

My sister-in-law has 8 cats, a dog (used to have 3) a bunch of birds, reptiles, rodents, and fish. All in a small 2-bdrm condo. Her neighbors called the cops a number of times, they’ve been ticketed, and told they can only have 4. She refuses to give any of them up, and will die fighting. By the way, she has asthma, which almost incapacitates her in the winter. I think she’s nutzy, but she says she loves her pets and it is her duty to provide a loving home for them. Sheesh! Incidently, the house smells so foul the hallway just reeks! Hence, the hateful neighbors.

I would like to mention that I did get caught once. I had not mentioned my cats to my complex, and one day, there it was, a note taped to my door. Pay the pet fee or get out. I had three cats at the time, but they only seemed to know I had one. And I never did figure out how they foud out. Did my apt complex run to check their list every time they noted a cat or dog in the window? I paid the fee and hoped they’d never discover I actually had multiple cats. I too, would rather live under the freeway before giving up any of my babies.

In my house, a rental, there are 5 pets: 3 cats, 1 dog, and 1 guinea pig. The landlord has no problem as the house is kept clean.

The real issue, it seems to me, is not the number of pets, but the number of responsible pet owners, that a rental has. I always try to get good references from my previous landlords, and this has often persuaded new landlords to bend or change the rules. My current house previously had a “1 cat only” rule.

If you are a good tenant, I can’t see a landlord throwing you out over a pet unless there is something to complain about (noise, smell, damage etc.). But I suppose it happens.

…when i was looking for my last apt i told the leasing office about my 2 cats. Was told it was okay but there would be a per cat fee added to the security deposit. Well, the guy i was dealing with left the company after i applied for the apt, but before i moved in so the new leasing mgr must have missed the note about the cats on the paperwork. Thus my lease contains no mention of pets and my security deposit was correspondingly lower. I would have had no problem paying the extra money if they’d asked for it, but i wasn’t about to remind them that they needed to charge me more money. The way i figure it, they had their chance. =)
wolf189 (shoving the cats in the closet at inspection time…)