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Courtesy of Camelia Maier

Claws and effect: How pet-friendly housing can influence your decision to sign a lease

Make sure there is space in your new home for you and your pet before signing the lease.

By Hannah Simon | Oct. 26, 2016

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Leases are being signed left and right for the 2017-2018 school year. It’s crunch time for students to figure out living arrangements for next year. For students living in residence halls, the inability to come home to your favorite furry friends after an arduous school day can be tough. This puts many up to the task of finding pet-friendly, off-campus housing.

Pet-friendly housing can be very limited. According to the Humane Society, the reasons many landlords are fearful of allowing pets in their buildings is due to “people who allow their pets to damage property, disturb neighbors, and generally give pet-owning renters a bad name.”

Though many landlords are fearful of pets, there are a good many that are not. Below is a guide to a few plausible apartments that are willing to take in your pets.

The Den

The Den allows all pets, excluding any exotic animals or aggressive breeds. Having a pet in your apartment requires a one-time fee of $300 and a pet rent fee of $25 a month. This is on top of a lease that, at its lowest, is in the $500 price range.

The Arch

The Arch allows pets under 50 pounds, excluding any dogs that are pit bulls or Rottweilers. The one-time fee for bringing a furry friend to live with you is $250 with a monthly fee of $30.

Copper Beech

Copper Beech just changed its policy from having a select number of units be pet-friendly to opening all properties to pets. Copper Beech only allows cats and dogs, with restrictions on aggressive breeds. There is a one-time, nonrefundable pet fee of $300 in addition to a monthly pet rent of $30 per animal.

“We feel that providing the ability for residents to keep their furry friends during their collegiate tenure is a large value addition to their experience,” said Steve Furst, regional supervisor of Asset Campus Housing, the management for Copper Beech, in an email.

Brookside

The pet policies at each of Brookside’s three locations differ. There are no pets allowed at Brookside Downtown; however, with proper documentation, emotional support pets are allowed. At Brookside Midtown, pets are only allowed on the first floor. Brookside Townhomes is pet-friendly. For the locations that allow pets, there is a one-time, nonrefundable fee of $500. The only requirement is that the pet cannot be an aggressive breed.

Courtney, a senior who asked to be referred to by her first name, lives in an apartment on East Campus with her 17-year-old cat, Binky.

“I kind of consider [Binky] a stress reliever when I get home 'cause he's just there waiting on my bed,” Courtney said. “If I'm having a rough week in school, it's nice to have him to cuddle with.”

Although having a pet to come home to is a major stress relief, taking care of a pet comes with responsibility.

“Make sure that you’re 100 percent sure about bringing [a pet to school],” Courtney said. “It’s definitely different with a cat because they don’t require too much attention, but if you’re considering bringing your dog, you have to make sure you’re willing to give it the time and attention it deserves. Nothing is worse than a dog being home all day by itself.”

Though it is common to see pets around campus, it is also common to see emotional support animals. College is stressful, and for many people, emotional support animals soothe depression, anxiety or other mental illness.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires under the Fair Housing Act “that housing providers, including condominium and homeowners associations, grant reasonable accommodations to rules, policies, or practices when such accommodations are necessary to afford a person with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing.” This is a key piece of information to know for those looking to live in apartments that are not pet-friendly or if an apartment has limits to the types of pets allowed in the building. The law further states that “This includes waiving “no pet” rules to allow emotional support animals.”

Edited by Katie Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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