Eliminate Pet Restrictions on Rental Properties


Target: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates

Goal: End pet restrictions on rentals to improve adoption and lessen animal shelter burdens

Berkeley, California is considering outlawing pet restrictions on rental properties citywide, improving clarity and communication between tenant and owner as well as helping pets and shelters. City Councilman Jesse Arreguin believes this one-of-a-kind ban will stop the recent scourge of tenants claiming fake disabilities to have their pet exempt under state law from the many existing pet restrictions. Ending the restrictions altogether easily solves this problem. Another major upside to the open-door policy is that pet owners will no longer have to face giving up a family member for adoption in order to rent a house or apartment, keeping needlessly forfeited animals out of shelters and safe from euthanasia. Proponents of the ban also hope to see an increase in shelter adoptions and a higher instance of spaying and neutering.

Many landlords fear heavy property damage, including stains and irremovable odors in carpets and furniture, but the policies are specific, giving the landlord the right to evict tenants with poor sanitary upkeep at the property owner’s discretion and requiring tenant to foot the bill for any damages incurred by their pet. A stipulation of the new law also requires would-be tenants to disclose whether they are bringing an animal onto the property at the onset of a rental agreement, making the renter fully responsible for the animal. Behavioral prohibitions are also left to the landlord’s discretion, so violent animals will not threaten other renters.

A further benefit to the proposed law is that it would eliminate breed restrictions, working instead on an individual pet basis and judging each animal’s suitability for that specific home based on the behavior of the pet and tenant, not biased and outdated stigmas. Sign this petition in support of ending pet restrictions so renters who face an already difficult market can have a home without losing or limiting furry family members.


Dear Mayor Bates,

The proposed ban on pet restrictions for rental housing in Berkeley, California could prove hugely and positively impactful for renters, landlords, shelters and animals. The ban keeps animals out of shelters by not forcing tenants to forfeit pets for housing, encourages more adoption, stands to improve honesty and full disclosure between tenant and landlord, and keeps the tenant responsible for any extra costs involved with having a pet on the property.

Some other, less obvious benefits include an end to archaic breed restrictions and a higher likelihood of long-term pet homes, encouraging owners to spay and neuter their pets and care for them permanently. Pet restrictions also put a huge burden on responsible pet owners, often forcing them to leave pets behind, lie about having pets or fake certain disabilities that would exempt their pet from moving with them.

I support the ban on pet-restricted housing and urge you to pass it in the city of Berkeley.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: menita via Pixabay

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  1. It’s a no-brainer that aids animals and humans in countless ways. People need homes, and so do the animals they choose to help. And my gawd, it’s been OVER 30 YRS since I first started reading about how most rental properties should be allowing “pets”, yet I’m still waiting for this change! What’s wrong with our species, to act so selfishly in all this time?
    Many of those who already act responsibly with their animals have actually been living in direct contravention of these unfair restrictions all along, keeping things clean and undamaged, etc., and their landlords have been none the wiser. So there shouldn’t BE any big problem anyway with changing these archaic restrictions. The responsible people will remain so, and the irresponsible will have to pay sooner or later.

  2. Sandra Zaninovich says:

    Of course this is being considered in Berkeley, best place on earth and my alma mater. Love it!

  3. Marina nemchinova says:

    It’s about time! These restrictions are utterly idiotic. Some rentals only allow cats, while others completely disregard animals. And what is the reason? Well, the owners claim that animals are dirty and will do much damage. Um, excuse me…but have some of these owners see how people live? Some lazy people live like swine! No offense to the pigs 🙂 And since the economy isn’t doing so great many families are forced to sell their homes and live in apartments AND apartments don’t allow animals. So what is the poor owner supposed to do? Give their animals away! And that’s utterly unfair. I own three dogs and I’m more than happy to put the deposit on all three of them as long as I get to keep them. They’re part of my family!

  4. Besides all this, unsavory characters tend to change their minds about breaking into a place when a dog starts barking. Even a small dog can make them leave, since the noise draws attention. If the pet restrictions are eliminated, it could prevent a lot of theft, rape and possibly murder.

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