Break the rules and get a cat?

Question by lisee11087: Break the rules and get a cat?
My apartment complex allows some of its older (elderly) residents to have cats. However, for everyone else it is a $ 500 non-refundable pet fee. Cats are the only pets allowed, and I just think $ 500 is absolutely insane. Its not even like we would get it back at the end of our lease.

Here is my rationale: In addition to this “cat fee”, we paid a $ 300 re-decorating fee when we moved in in May. This fee was mandatory for all residents before they moved in. In June, they discontinued that fee. None of the new lease-holders have to pay it! So that’s $ 300 dollars we threw away, and now they want another $ 500.

So should I play by the rules? Or get a cat and never tell them. Maintanence workers and exterminators come from time to time, but I doubt they would say anything to the land lords. Plus- how would they know if we paid or not?

I’ve always been a “by the book” type of person, but I think this is a bit ridiculous. Advice is appreciated!

Best answer:

Answer by Jude G
i would be grudge paying that, only thing is would you have to pay if you did get caught or would they threw you out, depends on the out come and if your happy to deal with it

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9 thoughts on “Break the rules and get a cat?”

  1. You could get a cat without paying, but be prepared to be evicted if you’re found out! Those are the terms of your lease. Maybe you should just try to find a place that allows cats. My apartment allows 2, and my landlady knows we have more than that and she also let us only pay the deposit for one cat.

  2. well, i would say that you get a cat, and if they find out and say you have to pay you can tell them that you didn’t know, or you could bribe them hahaha, jk

  3. I think if you want to get a cat, you should pay the fee. (Or try and find somewhere allowing cats, if that’s what you REALLY want).

    For a start, what if they did find out- don’t rule it out, some people may do it to spite you or meantion you have a cat, not thinking about it- and the cat had to be put in a shelter, and/or you were chucked out? It’s easy found out- you carrying in litter/food, what if the cat escapes or is vocal, what if it needs vet treatment and needs to be taken out in a cat box- they’re not quiet in there, and they will need to go to the vet at least once a year.

    On top of that, you’re moaning about how it’s unfair you paid $ 300 redecorating- although I agree it’s unfair, how would other people feel who HAVE paid $ 500 for a cat and you just ‘sneak one in’?

    Also, if you think $ 500 is a lot, what if the cat needs emergancy vet treatment or any treatment costing over $ 500? Are you going to say it’s stupid and refuse to pay it?

    I think the $ 500 is a needed cost though- they need to clean the room throughly, especially in the carpet, to make sure no-one who comes in with allergies suffers, and to pay for any damage your cat does do- and cats can do quite a lot of damage.

  4. My best guess as to why it costs so much is because they’re going to use the $ 500 to get the carpets professionally cleaned when you leave (to remove pet hair, dander, urine, etc), and don’t charge the elderly because they figure they’re all on fixed incomes and don’t work.

    At any rate, I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t do it (I am a by the book kind of person too, but I also think that $ 500 is insane), but if you do, you should probably be prepared to write a check for $ 500 at a moments’ notice in case they do find out and demand you pay it, or prepare for eviction.

  5. I think its steep too. But you really should not try to sneak one in. If you do, you will either get evicted or pay the $ 500 anyway.

    Your choice. Maybe you could start looking for a more pet-friendly place to live in a year or two.

  6. Tell them you are willing to pay $ 200.00 as fee because they already have $ 300.00 of yours that was not returned when redecorating fee was discontinued.
    And tell me just what in the heck is a re decorating fee> Do they come in from time to time and decorate your apt for you.

  7. Maybe you can go talk to your land lord about how unfair that is and try to reason with them. Tell him or her how you are a little low on money and that 300 dollars they threw away, was going to be used to buy something important. Try to tell them that you really want a cat and that 500 dollast is a little unreasonable. If all fails, just pay the 500$ if you REALLY want the cat. If you try to hide the cat, there’s always the chance it might get out or the landlord comes to check up on you. And you can’t live in fear for 15-20 years. I suggest paying the fee or not getting a cat and wait until your somwhere where cats are allowed for free.l Good luck!

  8. You should not try to get away with having a cat without permission. I work for a rental company and when maintenance technicians receive a maintenance request, there’s a section that lets them know whether the apartment has animals or not so they can be prepared when they enter. Our maintenance technicians have definitely reported animals in places they shouldn’t be. It isn’t worth the trouble of a possible eviction/bad rental reference. The fact that they let the elderly residents have pets without a pet fee is discrimination (unless the residents have a doctor’s note stating that the pet is needed due to their health, then they are considered a service animal). If you really want a cat, pay the fee. It’s not worth getting caught and then having to send the poor cat to the SPCA or put it through the stress of getting used to a new home.

  9. I have been in apartment managing for 5 years, and to save yourself greif just go by the rules… and here is why.

    the maint. staff or pest staff will absolutely tell the office staff. They have been trained to do so, this was the most common and easy way of catching people with pets. Some places even offer incentives to employees for catching illegal pets. (my company never has done this but a couple rivals do in our area) I also know that in the traning book maint staff is told it’s part of their job, to protect the investment… that is the line of thinking.

    office staff look. Trust me, I can’t count how many times I caught people just because the cat was sitting in the window, or they thought it would be safe to take the dog for a walk, and I was out on property doing something completely un related. As an office staff you always turn the people in because for 1. say you move out and there is a ton of damage and then you point at me and say “she knew about it and said it was okay” then I am in a kettle of trouble… I need my job and I am not risking it just because you want a cat. (not to sound cold… but that’s the truth.

    3. if you get away with it and move out, they do have urine detectors to tell if any damage has been done to the carpet when you leave. its a long stick with 2 metal prongs on the end and it alarms at urine when poked in to the carpet. If pet damage was not written on your move in form you will be charged for it anyhow…

    Now as far as the fee goes there are a couple things.

    1. according to fair housing laws they can not waive the deposit for some ‘elderly” people and enforce it upon everyone else. This in fact is breaking a MAJOR law. fair housing in a nutshell states that you have to treat all tenants the same no matter what. and that is not treating them all the same. you could report them for this.

    2. The fee is high, but in line with what everyone is charging.. my company charges a $ 400.00 fee (although all of it is refundable @ move out pending no damages) call around, you will find the same pricing at other complex’s. (as long as they are a comperable complex to the one you are living at now)

    Now there is a loop hole…

    Apt management groups are not allowed to charge fee on aid animals… and this is not just a seeing eye dog this goes for companion pets as well. so if you go to your doc say your depressed and think having a cat will help you, and your doc agrees.. have doc write a “perscription” saying you need said cat, and they can not charge you.

    your other option is to find a place that has a better deal for you to have pets and then move when your lease is up. A lot of private owners are more willing to negotiate on pets then major management groups.

    I hope I have helped you a little bit at least!

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