Proposed Bill Would Require Landlords In California To Allow Pets.

Pet laws in California could change forcing landlords to allow common household pets in rentals.

Pet owners in California might see relief with the proposed changes to pet laws. Currently, only 20 to 30 percent of all rentals across the state permit pets. That makes finding suitable and affordable housing difficult for families with pets. According to Assembly Member Matt Haney, the proposed legislation would limit a landlord’s ability to deny common household pets in lease agreements.

The bill would outline proposals prohibiting California landlords from denying tenancy based on pet ownership. This will offer more rental options for families with pets. The proposed bill, Assembly Bill 2216, does not contain the actual change but outlines the intention to enact such legislation.

Sign discouraging pet owners from allowing their pets to relieve themselves.
Image from Flickr.

This legislation may affect as many as 12 million renters in California who are pet owners. Many pet owners have rental agreements prohibiting pets but hide their animals from landlords. This can create problems with the landlord’s insurance coverage. If the lease specifies “No Pets,” having one could also lead to eviction.

The lack of pet-friendly rentals makes it difficult for people to find suitable housing. The difficulty can result in several things, such as people surrendering animals to overfull shelters. Some pet owners refuse to surrender pets and end up living on the streets, increasing the homeless population.

Homeless people with a pet dog. Current pet laws in California allow many rentals to prohibit pets, which makes it difficult for pet owners to find housing.
Image from Flickr.

Landlords argue that the proposed legislation could create a risk of property damage and other liabilities. It may cause an increase in insurance premiums and repair and refurbishment costs between tenants. Arguments concerning the proposed bill will be discussed in committee in March.

The Future Of California Landlord Pet Laws

Executive director of the Berkeley Property Owners Association Krista Gulbransen stated that the proposal would force landlords to accept the responsibility of having tenants with pets. In an interview with local news outlet KQED, she stated, “The biggest concern is just not being able to make that determination of risk and make a decision based on that.”

This will be something to watch as the proposal moves through the legislature. You can follow the proposal through the process on the California Assembly website. Please share this if you have friends or relatives interested in changes to California’s pet laws.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here and here.

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