In a scratch-, stain-, and pee smell-wary rental market where otherwise flawless tenants can be turned away from the apartment
of their dreams simply because they have a loveable mutt or a couple of kitties in tow, one Los Angeles landlord has taken a refreshingly unorthodox — and apparently, legal — approach to pet-based rental discrimination.
Judy Guth, owner of a 12-unit North Hollywood apartment complex, will only consider pet-owners as potential lease-holders. Don’t own a dog or cat? You better look elsewhere.
And if you live in said complex and your beloved pet happens to die, the Los Angeles Daily News
explains that Guth will take the tenant to a local animal shelter so that can they adopt a new one. If, theoretically, the tenant in question is too grief-stricken to bring in a replacement for Pancake the French bulldog or if they simply doesn’t want to own another pet following the loss, they should probably start looking for a new place. Just because you arrived at Guth’s complex as a pet owner doesn’t mean you’re automatically grandfathered in as one if something happens. You must stay
a pet owner.
Those are the rules and 84-year-old Guth sticks to them.
Despite Guth’s unwavering preference for pet owners, it doesn’t sound like she’s turning down people left and right. Vacancies at 5053 Cartwright Ave.
are rare — most tenants and their respective succession of four-legged room roommates have been happily living in the complex for a decade or more. And that’s exactly the way Guth likes it as she finds that in addition to having “a lot of love in their hearts,” pet owners are responsible when it comes to paying rent on time. They also rarely move.
“The only vacancies I’ve had are when people had to move because the economy forced them out of state for a job, explains Hungarian-born Guth to the Daily News. “Within a day or two, there’s a new dog or cat moving in. I can’t remember all the people, but I can remember their pets.”
On the rare occasion that a vacant apartment does open up, Guth actually conducts a meet and greet with the pet(s) prior to interviewing the potential tenant. Dogs that are prone to incessant yapping or that are known to throw wild keg parties with underage Pomeranians are verboten. Same goes for dogs that aren't vaccinated or that don’t sport I.D. tags. Cats must be neutered. And just because Guth runs a pets-only kind of joint, there are limitations: tenants are limited to one or two dogs of any size and/or up to three cats maximum. Although it's not made explicit by the Daily News, I'm going to go ahead and assume that goldfish, turtles, Sea Monkeys, Tamagotchis, or well-loved rocks don't pass muster.
One-bedrooms in Guth’s complex go for $1,200 a month while two-bedroom units are $1,500. In lieu of a security deposit, Guth has carpeting installed in recently vacated units and tacks on $100 per month to the rent. If the cost of the carpet is paid off if/when a tenant vacates the apartment, they are free to take it with them which I'm guessing they don't because, you know, pee and stuff.
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