Letter: Pet restrictions worsen housing crunch | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Pet restrictions worsen housing crunch

David Eisenson
Town Restaurant, Carbondale

In recent weeks, my family and I have had the unpleasant experience of attempting to navigate a very challenging market for housing rentals in the valley. As many are aware, rental availability is extraordinarily low, and prices are increasingly exorbitant. However, in our experience, the most frustrating part has been then inclination of property management companies to advise that their clients forbid any pets. I would encourage anyone to scan the rental advertisements in this newspaper to confirm that this is overwhelmingly the case.

How strikingly facile for these companies to offer such “expert” advice. The implications are cruel: If all of us renters just return our beloved shelter pets to CARE, or the Aspen shelter, if seems that we might — just might, as some of us have children, too — have access to some decent housing. Is this an incentive that we want guiding our housing market, especially in a town like Carbondale? I hope not. I do, however, think back to the “Dressed to the K9s” fundraiser for CARE: I wonder, how many of the sponsors or attendees are actually responsible for increasing shelter returns via the “NP” designation on their rentals?

A more reasonable solution might be to make substantial pet deposits — in addition to security deposits — a part of doing business. If we really care about our people and about the animals that end up in our shelters, then our business practices should reflect that sentiment. We must stop lumping pet ownership together with smoking cigarettes in a grossly impersonal assessment of prospective tenant quality. I think our lessors are particularly well-positioned to change this trend: If you agree with anything I’ve written, and your prospective property manager suggests that you forbid all pets, then find yourself a new property manager.

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