Tenants with pets could find more rentals under California bill

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. forgo / fɔrˈgoʊ / (v.) – to decide not to have or do something, especially something good or enjoyable

    Lea decided to forgo dessert and stick to her diet.

  2. relinquish / rɪˈlɪŋ kwɪʃ / (v.) – to give up or let go of something, such as a possession, responsibility, or right

    After years of leading the company, he relinquished his position as CEO to pursue other opportunities.

  3. nuisance / ˈnu səns / (n.) – something or someone that causes annoyance or trouble

    A slow internet connection can be a nuisance when trying to work or study online.

  4. caucus / ˈkɔ kəs / (n.) – a group of people with common interests who meet to discuss and decide on matters

    The neighborhood caucus met to plan community events for the coming summer.

  5. justification / ˌdʒʌs tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a good reason or explanation that makes something, such as decision or action, acceptable or right

    The manager provided several justifications for the budget increase, including the need for new equipment and rising operating costs.


Read the text below.

California pet owners struggling to find a rental that accepts their furry, four-legged family members could have an easier time leasing new housing under proposed state legislation that would ban blanket no-pets policies and prohibit landlords from charging additional fees for pets.

Proponents of Assembly Bill 2216, which is awaiting a vote of the full Assembly, say the lack of pet-friendly housing is pushing renters to forgo secure housing or relinquish beloved pets to overcrowded shelters. They say the legislation would allow more tenants hiding pets to come out of the shadows.

But property owners and apartment associations are pushing back on the legislation, saying that they’re worried over the cost of repairs, liability over potential dog bites, and nuisance issues that might drive away other tenants.

Also, state lawmakers last year capped rental security deposits to one month’s rent, which some landlords say is not enough to scrub out urine and feces stains in carpets or repair damage to wood floors.

“If we continue to pass regulations that make it more difficult to provide housing, it’s going to drive up the cost of housing for both pet owners and non-pet owners. And that’s fundamentally unfair,” said Russell Lowery, executive director of the California Rental Housing Association.

The proposal authored by Assemblymember Matt Haney, a San Francisco Democrat and chair of the renters’ caucus, would not require all landlords to accept common household pets, such as cats and dogs. But landlords would have to provide reasonable justifications related to issues, such as public health or animal control for denying a tenant with a pet.

A landlord could not inquire about pets until after approving an applicant, and applicants would have to notify the landlord of pets at least three days prior to signing a lease.

The landlord also could not require additional rent or a security deposit for a pet. The landlord could also set “reasonable conditions,” such as leashing requirements and limits on the number of animals allowed in a unit based on the unit’s size.

Animal welfare groups are among those supporting the bill.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Landlords can no longer deny tenants with pets unless they provide reasonable justifications. In your opinion, should landlords have the right to deny tenants because of their pets? Why or why not? What justifications do you think should be reasonable enough to deny pets (ex. if pets are not vaccinated, if there are tenants who are allergic to fur)? Discuss.
  • Landlords are also not allowed to require additional rent or a security deposit for a pet. Do you think this is fair? Why or why not? What do you think about landlords’ concerns about potential property damage and liability from pets (ex. those are valid concerns, those can easily be resolved)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you think this bill will impact sectors in the community, such as pet owners, landlords, animal shelters, and renters (ex. it will help animal shelters, it will be difficult for landlords)? Do you believe that this bill will ultimately cause positive changes? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Are there a lot of pet-friendly establishments or services, such as apartments, malls, or transportation, in your country? Do you think it is important to make all establishments or services pet-friendly? Why or why not? Discuss.