According to San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA), there’s been a surge in owners abandoning their pets due to an inability to find pet-friendly housing. In fact, throughout the past year a whopping one in four owners who left pets with the organization cited problems finding rentals that would allow four-legged family members.
With approximately 65% of the population living in rentals, Competition for each apartment is so fierce that landlords can afford to be more selective about tenants. Moreover, an influx of highly-paid tech workers have displaced many low- and middle-income renters, and increased the overall average cost of monthly rent.
“Now with the market moving with great speed and with vacant units in high demand, an owner doesn’t have the incentive to be pet-friendly,” explained Mark Campana, president of Anchor Realty, which incidentally does not allow pets in any of its roughly 1,000 units.
While some landlords may be flexible about allowing small dogs or cats, it’s all too easy to find another tenant without an animal in the current market. Because of this, a unit can be advertised as pet-friendly, but that doesn’t guarantee it will go to a pet owner.
Pet-friendly options also tend to be more out of reach for low-income renters, unfortunately. According t
“There are a lot of wonderful pet owners and not enough affordable housing for them,” notes Jackie Tom, president of leasing company RentalsinSF, who manages 35 pet-friendly units in the city. “They can keep their pets, but there is a price.”