Imagine finding that perfect property in Malta, just to be told that you can’t rent it because of your pet (or aren’t allowed a pet in your current house). This is infuriating and it really needs to stop.
I was lucky enough to have found a house through an agency very quickly with an amazing landlord that accepted our cat, but believe you me, during my house-hunting days (and searching through tons of ads), I realised that the struggle was real, and is still very real for many.
Landlords, you need to understand that our pets are our babies.
I do understand where you’re coming from in terms of the potential damages to the house some pets may cause, but I think you need to ‘bend the rules’ a little and decide on an individual basis.
Here are some genuine suggestions and points I think Malta’s landlords need to keep in mind.
1. Ask for an extra deposit
I was more than happy to give an extra deposit for my pet, and lots of pet owners would too!
If there are any damages, keep the money (or write a clause in the contract that says they need to pay for any damages).
2. Decide on a case-to-case basis as not all pets are the same.
Don’t you think it depends on the individual pet? Why say no to all pets? Think of factors such as which kind of pet you could allow; do you really think a rabbit, hamster or a senior cat or dog are likely to cause any damage?
Obviously it’s up to you, but you’re potentially losing out on the perfect tenant.
3. You’re unfortunately only adding to the number of abandoned pets
Before arriving to Malta, I lived in Japan then Germany and our cat (Naomi) has been with us every step of the way!
As much as it enrages me, there are some assholes out there who would totally give up their fur babies rather than keep looking for another house. These animals will either end up on the streets or in a shelter.
This is sad. Real sad.
4. I repeat: pets are our babies
As I mentioned before, our pets are basically our children.
I’ve seen tons of toddlers and young children cause 10 times more damage than a pet would (just recently for example, my friend’s kid drew all over the walls), but would you stop a potential tenant with kids from renting?
5. Pet owners are pretty responsible
OK, well that’s not entirely true obviously, but owning a pet is a massive responsibility.
If they can take care of an animal 24/7, then hopefully, in most cases, it shows that they can take care of your house too.
6. Ask for previous landlord references
This will give you peace of mind that the particular pet didn’t damage the property in the past, so they probably wouldn’t damage yours either.
We can eventually have a whole network of landlords giving out references, helping make property hunting easier for all the responsible pet owners out there.
Renters, if you’re in a position where you can’t adopt a pet…
Oh and there’s a Facebook group dedicated to pet-friendly housing!