Would like to hear from apt managers on large breed dog rejection

mazer415February 21, 2006

I have a large breed dog. I am having a heck of a time finding affordable housing because of this. Ever since the San Francisco mauling, large breed dogs have been written off as dangerous or hard ot handle. Yet some of the most gentle easy going dogs are large breed dogs. Great Danes, St. Bernards and Leonbergers are basically mobile couches!! Yet there are some pitt bull mixes and other yappy terrier sorts which weigh under 40 pounds and are so out of control and could be deemed dangerous. Whats the reason? Geez, my friends Chihuahuas are more likely to run after someone than my E.B.Mastiff mix!!! Is it because the Preso Canarios were large breed dogs and therefore people think they are less easy to control than a small dog. I think this is backwards thinking and I just dont get it. My dog is well trained, well behaved, and really mellow since blowing all the ligaments in his back legs, yet we are constantly turned down, it always comes down to the size of my dog!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You may very well be a responsible dog owner with a friendly, gentle dog. Unfortunately, there are enough people out there who have no business owning a dog (don't pick up after it, can't control it) and they make it tough on folks like you. A suggestion that just popped into my head (I haven't thought it all the way through yet), would be to develop your own doggie-addendum to the lease, stating that you will be responsible for picking up after your dog, will always control it, etc. There should be consequences clearly spelled out if you should breach this contract. Bring this with you when you look at a place to live to show them that you are a serious, responsible pet-owner.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not an apt manager but I have both a large dog (65 lb lab) and small dog (8 lb min pin). I had the min pin for 7 years before getting the lab. She was never a problem--stays pretty clean, poops and pees small amounts, etc. Now enters the large lab in my home--massive amounts of dog hair everywhere, drooling puddles, large puddles of water flying out of her mouth everytime she drinks, large piles of doggie poo to pick up, greater amount of stink when she needs a bath. That's probably why no large dogs--not the biting thing. The cleanup for the larger dogs is a lot more. They would be a lot harder on an apt than a small dog. I love my lab to death and treat her like my baby, but after she's gone I'll never have another large dog in my house.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

An out of control chihuahua charging someone could merely be booted like a football, an agressive larger dog like a mastiff may be immpossible to stop w/o using lethal force.
Sure your dog may be friendly, but it may not look friendly and living in close proxemity w/ others may scare or intimidate them. And that's your problem not their's.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Over n under, I would love to get the opportunity to do this, but I can not even get an okay over the phone, seems insurance companies have changed the rules as well. I am physically limited and have even offered to put my dog through the training for canine companion status, only to get no response...
dk - My dog is bathed on a regular basis, my apartment always clean, and fortunately my dog does not drool. Heis mixed with husky which has been a blessing and the 2 breeds seem to have cancelled each other out. My dog has no prey drive and is walked every day for no less than 30 minutes, which means when he is inside, he is sleeping. My dog gets walked off site, at a dog park or out in the woods, so soiling the area is not a problem because it does not happen.
beaglebuddy - Last apartment complex I lived in, I was very careful to ask my neighbors about my dog. I was always getting on him for barking - tho he did not bark constantly, he barked when someone walked by, as we were near the entrance. When I talked to my neighbors, they said they actually felt SAFER with him barking every now and then like that. They knew when someone was coming up the walk. I always have him leashed and since I know there are a considerable amount of people with dog issues, little or big, I am careful to stand aside when people walk by. If I have my friends Chihuahua's with me, people always smile because of the big difference. Recently a pair of Chihuahuas were shot at by the local police because they attacked when the police brought home the kid who lived at the house. The Officer was actually injured. My dog has been through 4 training classes before he was 2 years old, and his agression is usually left out on his walks. The best he can do now as an elderly dog with bad legs is bark, which as I said before is controlled. My dog does look friendly - he has a perpetual worried look on his face because of the wrinkles the E.B. Mastiff has. SO I dont think that is it at all. Besides, I have yet to be asked what breed he is, what if he were a Saint Bernard, Swissy or Leonberger - they all look like stuffed animals!!!
I would like the opportunity to have the problem - which is what I am saying to begin with.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Instead of calling, why don't you go in person and bring a statement from the vet about the condition of your dog and its temperment. Also offer to sign some sort of liabilty form. It's too easy for them to dismiss you over the phone--they don't have the time to mess with you. If you are there in person they will be more accomodating to your situation if they can (barring insurance limitations).


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

DK - I would have to spend hundreds in gasoline and wear and tear on my car if I went to every place possible. Your idea is novel, and I like it, except it would never happen where I live. Most vets are savvy and to write up something about my dogs temprament would leave them open to liability. No vet would do it. The other issue is just what your last parenthesis states. It is the insurance companies which are the real problem. I think I am going to have to put my dog through the Caninie Companion classes to get him certified, so nobody could deny him, since he would be considered a service dog. I hate the thought of having to be so radical but I am left with no other reasonable choice.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 8:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you looking for apartments mainly in complexes (where rules would be more difficult to bend) or through private landlords with only one or a couple apartments available?

I would guess that you would have an easier time convincing one landlord to change their mind, rather than someone working for a business who really doesn't have the right to change policies.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with the previous message. If you are looking to rent in apartment complexes, you have to understand what renting to pet owners means. And the larger the dog, the bigger the mess. I own a Golden Retreiver and four cats, but on a daily basis I have to tell potential renters that we do not allow cats or dogs. As an animal lover, this really killed me when I first started working here, but I do now understand. We have 100 apartments, kids running everywhere, and doggie doo in the yards will just not do. Are you sure that the prejuduce is in the fact that you have a large dog, or just in the fact that you have a dog period? It only takes one irresponsible pet owner to ruin it for the rest of us. Years ago when I was looking for an apartment myself, I owned an 8 lb toy poodle. I went to look at a house, but when they found I had a pet I got an resounding NO. When I questioned it, stating my case, they took me in the house and showed me the inside the bathroom door. Each day the former tenants locked thier small dog in the bathroom. The result was that the poor frustrated animal had clawed most nearly through the door, chewed the door frame beyond repair, and had begun scratching at the walls. I did not get that house, thanks to that one pet owner. Just something to think about.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you were a lanlord and could be chewsy you most likely would not allow pets. If you did Large dogs would be the last on the list. You have to understand the landlords view on this. Also in my state I currently do not allow pets. If all of a sudden I change my mind I would leagly be required to re advertise allowing pets AND call back or look at rejected applications based on pets. (not that I would get in trouble for violating as no one would care or even know)

Best of luck! If vacancy rates are high you could put an add in the classifieds apt wanted. Don't put the dog in the add, but this will give you motivated lanlords calling you.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use to live in an apartment complex, and I was one of 10 dog owners in the complex. There was never an issue with dog size, there were dogs which were 10 pounds and one tenant had two dogs about 80 pounds a piece.
As for the tenants in the complex. We all walked our dogs on a daily basis, sometimes three times a day. We checked on each others pets and made sure that pets who had a late owner were taken out for a walkies. It was a great set up.
As far as irresponsible dog owners ruining it for everone else. I think this is totally backwards thinking. Just because of a few people - who I might add are legally responsible for damages.
Let me run you through the apartment complex I lived in. In the morning I drove my dog off site for his walkies. The odd time he needed to use the bathroom, he either did it in the bushes which was cleaned up immediately or he was walked off site in the neighborhood. My dogs are NEVER left alone and go through at least 2 training classes BEFORE they reach one year. Since my dogs are run about a mile a day, they are not hyper and do not bark incessantly. I keep my dogs cleaned, on flea control and my apartment was cleaned up every day.
The manager loved my dog and even let me keep him without a pet deposit since I was so responsible. Their dog and mine were great buddies. The management let people in who were responsible and considerate of their pets and of others. Until the building was sold, it was a great place to live. Now, I am seeking anything, a room, an in law unit, a share rental, a pool house even a trailer, it does not matter. I am on a limited income and would never not tell a landlord I have a dog, I believe in being up - front and honest. Because I have a disability I can get my dog into the canine companion program which would make it harder for landlords to deny me access, but I would rather not do that. I would also never give up my dog, he is a great dog, and I dont believe in throwing away a living being just to make my life easier, which would be the case. My last dog saved me from physical harm twice and my current dog has enriched my life every day. I think it is a shame the way people treat their dogs and I think it is a shame that responsible people are held accountable for the idiots out there.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mazer, I wish you the best. It's so difficult in my neck of the woods to find apartments that take cats or dogs. Fortunately, I live only a mile from my mother's house and if I need a cat fix, I can go over there. I agree with you about how valuable pets are to us. Keep looking, you're bound to find something. Have you put an ad in the local papers yet advertising your situation? Or on a local internet site? Give it a shot, at least! And keep us posted!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

jesshack. Thanks for the wishes, I need them. Funny you should mention the situation with your mom. My mom actually dumped the dog on me, after me telling her I could not afford a dog because of being on a limited income. Boy did that pup luck out. He has blown all the ligaments in his back legs and to date has cost me one thousand dollars a year for every year of his life just to keep him healthy. He is 8. Yup, Eight grand!!! I post on craigslist since it is the most likely way for us to get a place, most apartment complexes with even stricter rules usually use the paper, but I check everyday. We have been looking for 4 years now!!! Ever since the dog mauling in San Francisco (I live within 15 miles). We will keep looking and I will keep being a great pet owner and my furbaby will continue to live a good life, and I will do my best to make sure we dont have to live in the car.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I know most of this refusal stuff has to do with a corporate thinking. I think that kind of thinking is ruining our world and I dont like it one bit. Harumph even

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mazer- sorry not an apt. mgr, but we feel your frustration! we have a 45 lb American Eskimo. we were just turned down in fact, today, for an apartment.

the kicker is: we thought we had it in the bag!! our credits good, we both have incomes, we're responsible people AND they said pet-friendly.

but when pressured to tell us the real reason for our not being approaved, we were told management went w/ a couple without a dog. WHAT IS THE POINT OF US GOING THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS, telling us you accept pets & then turning us down??

ugh- it's very frustrating & quite frankly feels like discrimination.

we live in NYC- ther are TONS of dogs here. pets need a roof over their heads too people! i understand the liabilies, the issues, the allergies, the concerns, the choice we made....etc, etc. but come on- i refuse to feel like i've done something wrong by owning a pet.

if ONE MORE broker does the whole "Oh, you have a dog, that's going to be hard" i will scream!!!!!!! where oh where are the animal loving, open-minded landlords????!

hang in there, mazer, hopefully you guys will be living the good life soon!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My suggestion is to put the word out with other dog lovers. Maybe your vet, trainer, or friend at the dog park will know of an apt for rent that accepts pets. Try an ad with a cute photo of your furkid looking for a rental. Your local paper may even think this is a good community news story. That could attract interest & help. Don't give up hope with the realtors. It just may take extra patience to wait for the right opportunity.

Good Luck. Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 1:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Contact an attorney if you want to fight this! Even if you don't I would let fair housing know as this may result in a fine for the landlord or at leaset awarness. In my state landlords are forced to look at the applications as they come in. I can not wait for 3 or 4 and choose the best. Big time trouble and a large fine! If it said pet friendly you should be elgible.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 5:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am an attorney, and you do not have the right to have a dog in an apartment. If you were blind, maybe a companion animal, but there is no right to have pets. Pet friendly apartments don't for instance have to take your pet boa either. They can limit.
nflifer How, exactly do you force the landlord to look at applications as they come in? You certainly do get to pick the best available tenant, and you are not required to make decisions on the weekend when credit reports are not available. It is not first come first served in any state I know of. You are not allowed to discriminate by race, marital status, etc. but you do not have to take a tenant just because they want to live there with their pets.
The problem landlords have is that some insurance companies will not insure if you allow large dogs, and if you allow one tenant with a pet who is a responsible pet owner then what do you do with the tenant who already lives there and "finds" a stray dog, and thinks maybe they would like a pet even though they are hardly ever home.
I can show you pics of a home where the lady had 12 dogs. the landlord had a tough time getting her out and is now having a tougher time trying to rehab the place.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 5:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my State (MN) You DO have to take first come first serve, and not pick the "best". I'm 100% positive this is the law here but am not a lawyer and have no idea what it is in other States. In fact when handing out applications if asked I need to have written criteria to be my tenant. The criteria would be a min credit score, length of employment, min income levels, etc. First application that meets my criteria has to be accpeted regaurdless of how golden the next two applications apprear. We are not allowed to hand pick the best. My town had a huge shortage of apartments in the late 90's. A few large complexes had law suites regaurding this issue. They would leave an apartment empty and collect $25 per application. The vacant apartment was making much more than the $600-$700 rent in application fees. These same places would also take individuals making $100K over qualified tenants making $35K-$50K that applied first. Problem was these good qualified tenants couldn't find any housing!

You can collect 1-100 applications but if the first one is qualified you have to return all others application fees. If the first one is rejected you have to give a legit reason in writting then move on to #2. There are exceptions due to time it takes for criminal history and credit reports, where if you run them all together you can keep only acutal cost and return rest of application fee.

Fine if getting caught is much less than I thought. I looked it up and its $100.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nfllifer: If Mn stands for Minnesota, I suggest you check 504B173 because it doesn't say "first come, first serve". It states you have to return credit application fee if you don't run a credit check. It says you cannot collect an app fee if you don[t have an available apartment. Having criteria is a good idea. You cannot discriminate.
A landlord wants to rent an apartment but they have a right to pick a tenant that will pay the rent and not wreck the place.
If you have a big pet, you are more likely to pursuade the owner of a separate house to rent to you. An owner of a big complex has other issues they have to worry about; so even if your dog is Lassie, you may get turned down.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 2:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are correct and am actually familar with 504B173....
This is how it was explained to me by 3 lawyers and a few landlord instructors.

Sub 1 Limit on number of applicant screening fees. In English I was told accepting an application the landlord should consider it rented out and no unit is available. You can collect back up applications and fees.

Subd 2. English: Not to screen the second application untill the first is accepted or rejected. Due to time issues you can run a report, such as criminal or credit, before 1st application is decided. But only charge for those fees.

Like most laws it's all how you interpet it. This is just the way I have been instructed by mulitple so called proffesionals.

I have been told while discriminating on a credit score of 780 over 820 is not a legally protected item, its still discrimination and could bring on a lawsuit since both obviously are qualified. If the 780 was 120.... different story as my written qualifications are higher.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ok--not to bore everybody else around here into a coma--
its the difference between being a landlord tenant lawyer and being a landlord and a lawyer.
You have an application --the person has a wonderful credit score, and a good job, and while he is in my office he is dead drunk at 10a.m and slaps his wife. Is he in a protected class because of his credit score? I don't think so--I have a responsibility to the rest of the tenants in my building. They have a right to peace and quiet and since I live there also--so do I. He does not have a right to rent an apartment in my building. No attorney is going to sue on his behalf either.
Protected class refers to marital status, race, color, creed, and you may not discriminate against them because of that. A high credit score is not a protected class.
You are in Minnesota--where maybe that simple discrimination is still an issue. I am in SoCal--I am the only blonde in the building for whom English is a first language so racial discrimination is not one of our issues. Here, we are expected to check Megan's list and make sure we don't rent to a sexual preditor. In San Diego area a city is considering an ordinance penalizing landlords for renting to illegal aliens. If I have good reason to believe that a tenant will be a threat to the rest of the building--I have liability if they injure somebody.
So don't get hung up on credit scores--you get to use your eyes and ears and brain. Of course you keep good records of the problems. If you read the posts, more tenants are unhappy because of jerky neighbors than anything else.I try to prevent that. So after we found the escaped rosy boa constrictor, and I found out that a tenant had three cats and was using the bottom drawers of the kitchen cabinets to put the kitty litter in--we went to a pet free building.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 1:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a chat with a lawyer, and the following are NOT protected classes according to the usual state laws:

  • Smokers

  • Pet owners (service dogs excepted)

  • Motorcycle owners

  • People with poor credit ratings

  • People with a history of skipping out on the rent

  • People with certain criminal backgrounds

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 7:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

er... okay... yes, yes all right. you can rattle out all the legal stuff you want, i think most of us (especially those w/ dogs) understand that landlords see pets as liabilties & we are taking on a huge responsibility. totally get that. but it doesn't change the fact that this poster is frustrated & needs to share he/she is having a tough day. OKAY FOLKS!!?! anyway back to mazer. i feel for this poster because he/she is someone who just loves their pet- that's all. my heart really goes out to this mazer.

those of us who own dogs (cats) & need to rent an apartment understand it will be a hard sell. but it IS frustrating none the less.

i posted before and we lucked out and found an apartment that will accept Bear (our dog). it's a very dog-friendly neighborhood & our guy has adjusted really nicely. i would NEVER get rid of our dog, he's a member of our family.

good luck mazer- keep hanging in!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

more dog = more damage = more danger

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you want to own animals (*any* animals, cats, dogs, ferrets, etc.), you must realize that a landlord has the right to refuse to rent to you. If you are insistent on owning a pet and being a renter, you have to realize the difficulty you may (or may not) have when looking for a rental. That's the bottom line.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why don't you get a written reference from your last apt. mgr.? Try to find a smaller place to rent. A double/two family? Craigslist seems like a good place to advertise, perhaps Pet Supplies and/or the other stores bulletin boards.

You sound like a responsible pet owner. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm the super at a small building.

One of the tenants here who moved away recently used to own a Great Pyrrhenees, big giant white dog. It was friendly. It never barked. It was gentle as a lamb. They always scooped up when it pooped. Great dog. BUT.

Everytime I was cleaning the building - once a week - after this dog moved in, all the halls literally had giant balls of white fur drifting about. It looked just like tiny tumbleweeds blowing across a plain of tiles. It clung to everything - the stairs, the railings, under the stairs and railings, everywhere. I'd have enough to make a wig at the end of sweeping.

So, it isn't always a matter of just being a good owner. Some large breeds just mean lots more work anyway.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Quiet Hours???? HELP!
What exactly constitutes being quiet during quiet hours? This...
3 mentally ill roommates and a baby, what to do?
I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment with 2 other...
Lawn Mowers/Leaf Blowers
I rent the top floor of a two-family home in a nice...
Finding apartment in Cary NC?
Hi, I am a single mom of two moving into Cary NC area...
Appliance Size for garage apartment
building an apartment over a garage. apt size is 500...
Sponsored Products
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Mohawk Home Rugs Forte Dark Coco Taupe 10
Home Depot
Sydney Inari Silk Oil-Rubbed Bronze Glass Pendant
$98.00 | Bellacor
LBL Top Wall II Nickel Red Glass 12" High Wall Sconce
Euro Style Lighting
Sugar Bowl Pendant Lamp
$169.99 | Dot & Bo
E27 40W 6600LM 165LED SMD 5730 LED Corn Bulb
Turquoise Metallic Ovo Table Lamp
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™