T Nation

A Dogged Dilemma

I’d just like to know any input somebody might have with regards to my situation, if you please.

I live in an apartment, and when I moved here…I had no pets to speak of. Within the last six months or so I have acquired a small dog (chihuahua)…once upon a time I made a post about having to rescue him from an abusive atmosphere. So here I am with this chihuahua and as of today, I receive a notice on my door from apartment management instructing me that I must pay the amount of $700 additional on my deposit, and $30 per month henceforth or stand in breach of my lease and therefore subject to a 3 day eviction notice.

Okay, I suppose I am guilty of not making management aware that I got the dog…but I honestly thought it might slip under the radar. Afterall, hes not a behemoth of a thing…although I understand that is besides the point.

Now I pay a great deal to live in my apartments being as I live in California, rent for a two bedroom is $1450 per month. I’m more than a little perturbed that not only do they demand an extra $700 towards a deposit, but the fact that I also will have to pay $30 extra every month thereafter. Perhaps it is all entirely legal…I did sign a lease agreement and more than likely there is something in the fine print that outlines this policy. Just for the record I have been here a year and a half…

My question is mainly, …can I contest this in any way? More than likely I will just have to suck it up and pay the piper, but I really think it is an exorbitant amount to demand. Do I have any moving room in the matter? That is to say, besides moving to another.

Any legal input would be great, although I’m quite sure I’ll just have to contend with the bottom line. Maybe if somebody will just say ‘that’s bullshit’… perhaps that would suffice. Just yet another chapter in the book of life sucks.

Either ditch the dog or pay it. You should get the $ 700 back if you do a decent job of cleaning before you leave.

I do like pets but they certainly can be extra wear and tear on a facility and can be annoying to neighbors. It is quite common for an apartment owner to ask for compensation.

Check your lease first of course.

Or move to a nice suburban town between the coasts and buy a decent house for 1/2 your rent.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:
I’d just like to know any input somebody might have with regards to my situation, if you please.

I live in an apartment, and when I moved here…I had no pets to speak of. Within the last six months or so I have acquired a small dog (chihuahua)…once upon a time I made a post about having to rescue him from an abusive atmosphere. So here I am with this chihuahua and as of today, I receive a notice on my door from apartment management instructing me that I must pay the amount of $700 additional on my deposit, and $30 per month henceforth or stand in breach of my lease and therefore subject to a 3 day eviction notice.

Okay, I suppose I am guilty of not making management aware that I got the dog…but I honestly thought it might slip under the radar. Afterall, hes not a behemoth of a thing…although I understand that is besides the point.

Now I pay a great deal to live in my apartments being as I live in California, rent for a two bedroom is $1450 per month. I’m more than a little perturbed that not only do they demand an extra $700 towards a deposit, but the fact that I also will have to pay $30 extra every month thereafter. Perhaps it is all entirely legal…I did sign a lease agreement and more than likely there is something in the fine print that outlines this policy. Just for the record I have been here a year and a half…

My question is mainly, …can I contest this in any way? More than likely I will just have to suck it up and pay the piper, but I really think it is an exorbitant amount to demand. Do I have any moving room in the matter? That is to say, besides moving to another.

Any legal input would be great, although I’m quite sure I’ll just have to contend with the bottom line. Maybe if somebody will just say ‘that’s bullshit’… perhaps that would suffice. Just yet another chapter in the book of life sucks.[/quote]

I have a pre-law background, so I will give it a shot. As Zap said, pay the $700. or get out. Read your lease. Although you had no pet at move-in, the “pet” requirements will be in your lease. Often, the damage a pet can do will easily exceed $700. It is not an exorbatant amount. The additional $30.?? Not sure. Perhaps it is to pay someone to pick up the dog-crap that apartment-dwelling dog owners never seem to do. Not saying that you are quilty of non-scooping, but many just don’t. I know it doesn’t seem fair to have the same guidelines for a 2 lb. dog vs. a 100 lb. dog. That’s the part, I believe, is sucking for you most. No?

As GI noted, pets do inflict wear and tear on property. Given that it is not your property, the owner has every right to ask for insurance (the deposit) and compensation (the extra $30) for it. You may argue that your pooch is small and therefore, is unlikely to cause any damage.

However, that puts the landlord in the unenviable, if not impossible, position of determining which pets cause damage and how much additional rent/deposit should be secured. Better to just make it a straight fee acrossed the board.

In short, check the lease, pay the cash (if it is in the lease) and be glad that you do not have to move all of your shit because you tried to sneak a dog into an apartment. Your alternative is to cancel your lease, pay any fees that result and move.

Is your deposit a security or a damage deposit. If it’s a security deposit I can’t see why you should pay more. A damage deposit is different.

Having said that I would check to see if the deposits in your state are damsge or security. The difference being a security deposit is to protect the landlord from people skipping out on the last months rent. Damage deposit are a large gray area. What is the difference between damage and long term ware.

I Canada, although everyone calls it a damage deposit. It is a security deposit and it must be returned within thirty day after leaving. Different laws and interpetations of said laws can be confusing.

It is a security deposit to the best of my knowledge, I paid one when moving in initially, just not an extra amount for pets. I understand the why’s of the whole issue. That said I still think it’s excessive. I know what I have to do, I just don’t like doing it.

Somebody just say it’s bullshit already.

It IS ridiculous. I have a 4 pound dog. Trust me, shit is not an issue. $700 and $30 a month thereafter on top of $1450 a month… really? That sounds reasonable to people? I guess we’re just really used to being bent over. The bottom line is it sucks.

Every apartment lease I’ve ever read has pet rent terms like this. While the pet deposit is high (out here you might pay half that), it is CA and so everything is higher. The pet rent itself isn’t that high, out here you probably pay $25-50 a month. You should read the lease before you sign it so you know these things can happen.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:
It is a security deposit to the best of my knowledge, I paid one when moving in initially, just not an extra amount for pets. I understand the why’s of the whole issue. That said I still think it’s excessive. I know what I have to do, I just don’t like doing it.

Somebody just say it’s bullshit already.

It IS ridiculous. I have a 4 pound dog. Trust me, shit is not an issue. $700 and $30 a month thereafter on top of $1450 a month… really? That sounds reasonable to people? I guess we’re just really used to being bent over. The bottom line is it sucks.[/quote]

yea, it sucks. but you also stated in your original post you were trying to get away with something (hoping it would ‘slip under the radar’).

4 pound dog, 3 cats, rottweiler, whatever. they obviously have rules regarding pets, which you seem to think you shouldnt have to follow for some reason. i dont see how following a rule thats stated in the lease you signed is getting ‘bent over’. yes, life sucks and is bullshit when you cant have your way all the time. grow up.

I’ve always had to pay an upfront fee for my dog (never coming close $700, though) and then a small monthly fee. Pretty typical.

You’ve been nabbed, so it looks like you’re going to have to pay up or get tossed out. And I’ve never seen a bum roaming around with a chihuahua.

You are smart enough to know that you got caught trying to hustle your landlord. It may suck, but you really knew that what you were doing was wrong. While I admire you for taking the initiative to remove a dog from an abuse/neglect situation, I must admit that I am a bit surprised at your attitude on this.

If you want to keep the dog, pay the extra rent/deposit or move. It really is that simple. You just need to decide if you dig the little guy enough to pony up the extra rent.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:

It IS ridiculous. I have a 4 pound dog. Trust me, shit is not an issue. $700 and $30 a month thereafter on top of $1450 a month… really? That sounds reasonable to people? I guess we’re just really used to being bent over. The bottom line is it sucks.[/quote]

Oh, give it up. Hell, try having a Staffordshire bull terrier and even finding a place to live. So yeah, everybody hates me, too.

Lots of things suck, but this policy is far from out of the ordinary.

[quote]VanderLaan wrote:
You are smart enough to know that you got caught trying to hustle your landlord. It may suck, but you really knew that what you were doing was wrong. While I admire you for taking the initiative to remove a dog from an abuse/neglect situation, I must admit that I am a bit surprised at your attitude on this. If you want to keep the dog, pay the extra rent/deposit or move. It really is that simple. You just need to decide if you dig the little guy enough to pony up the extra rent.

[/quote]

Sure, I was hoping they wouldn’t notice. They did. My attitude is due to the fact that $700 on top of my current deposit is excessive, because it is. Then again so is the rent. I don’t have a ‘landlord’ per say, Mr. Furley isn’t roaming the grounds around here. There is some invisible entity that owns these and probably many more apartments like them, what I have is somebody who gets paid to manage things around here…and don’t get me started on that.

It does suck. Of course its down to pay it or move. But then again, moving would take an extra 3-5 grand which I can’t happen to pull out of my ass just now. That’s called a rock and a hard place, and being in between one is no fun. Of course I’m not going to get rid of my dog, if I’m the type of person to save him in the first place I’m obviously not the sort to ditch him over $700, but I am the sort to say IT SUCKS when it does, so everyone can quit with the rules are rules and grow up garbage. Nobody bites the bullet with a grin.

It depends upon if your apartment complex is owned by an individual or by a company for my idea to work. If it happens to be owned by an individual, you would do well to approach him/her, humbly, as in hat in hand, and admit that you have completely fucked up, you did something stupid by not coming to him in the first place and letting him know that you had taken in a dog, and that you are genuinely sorry for all of the trouble you have caused, but if there is any way (bat your eyelashes at this point) that some concession could be made, you would be so appreciative.

You would be surprised at how much you can gain from this simple act. I’m not in any way implying that you make any sort of sexual suggestion, just that a basic human-to-human appeal usually goes miles toward securing favorable relations between parties. I’ve negotiated quite a few (in-my-favor) settlements in just this way. If your landlord is a big company, however, you’re fucked. Just pay the money or find another place to live.

EDIT: Your previous post just showed up after I posted this.

Sucks to be you.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:

Of course I’m not going to get rid of my dog, if I’m the type of person to save him in the first place I’m obviously not the sort to ditch him over $700
[/quote]

I’m glad to hear that you wouldn’t ditch the dog. I volunteer for the SPCA and each dog available for adoption has a little dossier of sorts. I used to read them, but stopped because I would get so angry at the reasons people
ditch a pet. “Moved” is at the top of the list.

[quote]Geminspector wrote:
Molotov_Coktease wrote:

Of course I’m not going to get rid of my dog, if I’m the type of person to save him in the first place I’m obviously not the sort to ditch him over $700

I’m glad to hear that you wouldn’t ditch the dog. I volunteer for the SPCA and each dog available for adoption has a little dossier of sorts. I used to read them, but stopped because I would get so angry at the reasons people
ditch a pet. “Moved” is at the top of the list.
[/quote]

I live in Japan where they keep them on a 3 foot leash outside in every season or confined to a tiny cage in the same condtions for the entirety of their lives. Seriously, I wonder which is worse.

Don’t get me started.

Eh, that seems about right. I’d check to see where $700 number came from but the $30 is pretty normal. My apartment has a $300 non-refundable pet deposit. The wear and tear on flooring will be much greater (usually)than without a dog. It is only a 4 pound dog but, one general lease is easier than making one for all dog breeds or weight categories. Just suck it up and pay it is the best thing you can do.

[quote]Cortes wrote:
Geminspector wrote:
Molotov_Coktease wrote:

Of course I’m not going to get rid of my dog, if I’m the type of person to save him in the first place I’m obviously not the sort to ditch him over $700

I’m glad to hear that you wouldn’t ditch the dog. I volunteer for the SPCA and each dog available for adoption has a little dossier of sorts. I used to read them, but stopped because I would get so angry at the reasons people
ditch a pet. “Moved” is at the top of the list.

I live in Japan where they keep them on a 3 foot leash outside in every season or confined to a tiny cage in the same condtions for the entirety of their lives. Seriously, I wonder which is worse.

Don’t get me started.[/quote]

Are these animals “pets” or part of the food chain? I’ve been to Asian countries, so I have an idea of what you are talking about.

They are “pets.” They are certainly not treated as we treat our family members in the Americas, I’m very sorry to note. Not everyone does this, but FAR too many (read “most” people, as far as I can tell). It is one of the major reasons I want to move back to the US.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:
Any legal input would be great, although I’m quite sure I’ll just have to contend with the bottom line. Maybe if somebody will just say ‘that’s bullshit’… perhaps that would suffice. Just yet another chapter in the book of life sucks.[/quote]

Ask for a copy of the signed lease agreement if you don’t have one and find out what the pet policy is.

If it is a legit claim then pay the pet deposit so you don’t get evicted. That is bad juju on a credit report. You may be able to get away with not paying the extra $30/month if you are a good bargainer – these sort of things are always negotiable – especially if there are other empty, cheaper apartments that you can threaten to take your business to.

Hopefully the landlord is not litigious enough to take you to court to make back payments on rent.

If you were my tenant I would not make a big deal as long as you were respectful to your neighbors and I didn’t have to listen to loud partying all hours of the night. Try using that argument if it applies to you. If all else fails and your landlord is male use your female superpowers.

Good luck!

[quote]Geminspector wrote:
Molotov_Coktease wrote:

Of course I’m not going to get rid of my dog, if I’m the type of person to save him in the first place I’m obviously not the sort to ditch him over $700

I’m glad to hear that you wouldn’t ditch the dog. I volunteer for the SPCA and each dog available for adoption has a little dossier of sorts. I used to read them, but stopped because I would get so angry at the reasons people
ditch a pet. “Moved” is at the top of the list.
[/quote]

We could go on all day about the despicable way in which people treat their animals. The hardest show for me to watch is Animal Cops, …that show kills me. Good on you for your volunteer work, not everybody is cut out for it. I don’t know if I would be…seeing all that suffering and being able to cope.