Last week in Murmurs (WW, Jan. 30, 2019), we wrote about a bill introduced in the Oregon Legislature that would prohibit landlords who allow pets from charging tenants "pet rent": an extra fee each month. "Pet rent unfairly increases a tenant's cost to rent without any causal relationship to the impact that their pet may or may not have on the premises," says a bill sponsor, Rep. Karin Power (D-Milwaukie). Here's what readers think.
Natasha Thomas, via Facebook: "Thank god. Children are way more destructive than most pets, and having more crotch spawns doesn't boost rent at all."
Joe Platt, via Facebook: "This is just going to end up creating a 'no pets allowed' policy on every rental."
Kristin Anderson, via Facebook: "I've lived at my apartment for four years. You cannot tell me my cat has caused $1,200 in damage, but I'll never see that money again."
Philomel Woodsley, via Facebook: "I think a little extra security deposit is fine. Pets do take a toll on the carpet and painted walls. But extra rent each month seems excessive."
Pete Gutbrod, via Facebook: "Simple. I will not allow pets then at my rental. Problem solved on my end."
Kyle Robertson, via Twitter: "If pet owners are willing to pay, leave it alone! We don't need the government to tell us how to run our rentals."
Scotaf, via Reddit: "I have a rental property in Salem that currently has tenants with two pets. They pay an extra $50 a month for the pets. I consider pets to be an additional risk to the property and have no qualms charging extra rent for them to stay there.
"Say they pass this law. No problem for me, I'll still rent to owners with pets…but my base rent will start $50 higher. Now potential tenants without pets will be faced with higher rents because landlords are now including the cost of pets in the regular rental price.
"Thing is, I will have ZERO issues finding tenants because places that allow pets are already a hot commodity."
SleepUntilTomorrow, via Reddit: "Nobody's arguing against tenant liability IF the damage is done. That's why Oregon requires pet deposits to be refundable. If your pet does the damage, you should pay for it. But you shouldn't be charged a nonrefundable fee for something that never happens, for numerous reasons, one of which being it's against Oregon law. So in order to defend pet rent, it CAN'T be to cover damages, it must simply be rent, in which case it makes zero sense."
Elizabeth Grant, via Facebook: "Landlords have a right to charge for pets. I personally just take a very large deposit, but some renters have no respect, and making them pay makes them more careful."
Ryan Mosseau, in response: "Maybe you just rent to shitty people."