California Housing Rental Laws Concerning Pets
by Fraser Sherman, Demand Media
If you have a seeing-eye dog, your landlord can't keep it away.
You may think of your cat as a family member, but to your landlord, it may be nothing but a nuisance. California law gives landlords the right to set a "no pets" policy on apartments or rental homes. Landlords can refuse to rent to someone with a pet, or a particular type of pet, and can evict a tenant who brings one home when the lease says not to.
Types of Rental Arrangements
Tenants can rent on a month-to-month basis or with a long-term lease, the Nolo legal website states. If you rent by the month, a California landlord can change the terms of the agreement--including whether you can have a pet--with 30 days' notice. If you have a lease, she can't change the terms, unless you agree, until the lease comes up for renewal.
Your right to keep a pet in your California rental may depend on what's written into the lease. The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends landlords spell out their pet policy clearly in the lease or rental agreement and recommends terms: Specify which kinds of pets are allowable, which breed, and how many, for instance.
Landlords can adopt additional pet policies, the Nolo legal website states. They can reserve the right to approve each proposed pet individually, and require proper identification, licensing and proof of vaccination. In some states they can charge a "pet fee" in addition to a damage deposit; California damage-deposit law doesn't permit that.
If a tenant brings home a pet in defiance of a no-pet policy, the landlord can use that as grounds to terminate her lease, Nolo states. The landlord can't simply change the locks or throw the tenant out: He must notify her that she's in violation, give her a chance to get rid of the animal--within three days, under California law--and if she does not, he can file for eviction.
Regardless of the terms in the lease, if you have a service animal--a seeing-eye dog or a hearing dog, for example--your landlord can't refuse to let you keep it with you. Nor can your landlord refuse to rent to you, Nolo states: Refusing a tenant because of a disability violates federal anti-discrimination law.
The most important thing is to fully disclose to the landlord that you have a dog so they can make the decision. Many landlords will rent to you with a dog and as you say may require additional deposit. You mention that you may want to look at the house on Medallion Way? Are you currently working with a realtor? If you have any additonal questions or would like some help please feel free to call me at 916.442.4500... TED
Are you working with a local agent or Realtor? If you are looking at SFR, Single Family Residence, rarely will it be a problem. Make sure to read and review the HOA rules and regulations if considering Condos or Townhomes, and the CC&Rs just in case on an SFR. Work with an agent, and they can help you sort and fine turn your search.
Best of luck.
I believe the excluded breeds may include Akitas, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Pit Bull Terriers, Presa Canarios, Wolves, and Wolf/Dog Hybrids.
While these can all be trained to be good companions and to provide a level of security to their owners, the protectiveness and aggression traits have been known to occasionally backfire, resulting in maulings and injuries to innocent parties. This is why the insurance companies don't want to insure those dogs. Rare, but BIG payouts.
I have met good dogs and scary dogs from each of those breeds.
If an insurance company has a ban, then the landlord does not want to take on the risk himself.
I have a client that rented ina really nice adult community.They had sold their house in anticipation of moving to a Veteran community in Florida. They were on the waiting list so decided to rent locally until there was an opening. They're so happy here in the community that they're renting that now they might decide to stay. Their community has social activities every day, if they choose to participate. That's a nice option!
Below are 2 links to the local SPCA, they have information for pet owners tenants and landlords, also a list of pet friendly apartments and rentals. If you are looking for a single family home, they give you tips for working with a landlord and getting them to accept your pet.
Sacramento SPCA : http://www.sspca.org/page.php?sid=39
Placer SPCA Roseville :http://www.placerspca.org/housing.htm
Each landlord is different about pets. Call on each rental you are interested in and ask. Usually an additional pet deposit is required - but it varies. Someone out there will accept a dog. Check on Craigslist.org...lots of rentals.