Looking for a rental is always—always, always, always—a gigantic pain in the rear. However, in all the places I’ve lived, which include Santa Cruz, Aptos, Ukiah, Kalispell, Whitefish, Missoula, Bigfork, and the Central Coast, nowhere compares to here.
It’s like getting a million little splinters in your finger from running it along a carefully sanded wooden plank. And they’re so fine and soft that you can’t grip them to pull them out. And each listing you look at drives the splinters further into your skin.
Perhaps things have changed for me a little. I now have a dog in tow, but I found places in Missoula, Bigfork, and Kalispell just fine. And they were actually affordable.
It seems like every listing I look at on Craigslist.org either says no pets or specifically no dogs. Or if they do allow dogs, the weight limit is 25 lbs and breed restrictions apply. Ok. Great. I can pay you, but because some idiot owner was either A-irresponsible or B-their dog mauled someone and it made national news, my dog and I are apparently not allowed to rent ANYWHERE on the Central Coast.
Not in San Luis Obispo or Grover Beach or Pismo Beach or Arroyo Grande or Nipomo or Santa Maria or Orcutt or even out in the country. And, what makes it all the more splintery is the number of people who have ads in the “housing wanted” section of Craigslist.
They say things like:
“Please. Somebody Help Us.”
“Looking for Pet Friendly home.”
Yes, they are families, couples, and single people who have pets—oh my—and are looking for a place to rent.
I’m not the only one, but at least I’m not where they are just yet, I haven’t reached that level of desperation. Yet.
I call bullshit. Yes mom, bullshit.
You, housing and apartment owners on the Central Coast, dying to rent out apartments that I’ve seen posted day-after-day on Craigslist, advertising the greatness of said poop-hole and looking for a renter, could at least consider someone with a pet. “Sorry, no pets considered” is not really an apology, at least it doesn’t sound like one to me.
Some of these ads even say no overnight guests allowed, no drinking, and on and on and on.
Or, my favorite; which allows pets, but, in exchange for a reduced rent of $700 a month, you who rents this amazing place (it’s pretty sweet) also commit to part-time work as a property maintenance person on 5 acres of land, at least 13 hours a week and whatever else the owner sees fit to assign you.
I also saw a room rental listed for $500 a month, where you also are a caregiver/cook/cleaner for the owner of the home. How does that work? I’m sorry, maybe I’m upset, but that doesn’t sound reduced to me.
I’ve seen ads that are still listed (or have been re-listed) from when I first moved here in January.
You people are missing out. There are responsible pet-owners out there who won’t allow their pets to soil your place, who will take their pets for walks, who know their pets well and love their pets, and who train their pets and spend time with their pets.
You are essentially discriminating against them, against us. America is not a land of freedom, when the quintessential man’s best friend is not allowed to step foot in a freaking rental.
This is just one of the things about housing that makes living here so hard. It’s a great area, but are you property owners trying to get all pet-owners to buy homes or leave? News flash: we can’t afford the homes because they’re getting snapped up by investors who bid the price well above asking, and the housing inventory is so low that the prices are being driven up anyway.
I’m sorry if I sound a little callous, I’m more just frustrated. As a journalist, I’m sure I need to see things from the other side of the fence, however I’m so fully integrated onto this side of the fence that all I can do is offer my opinion.
Come on home-owners and property managers. Lets rally for renters who can do what you’re asking and not discriminate against them because they own a dog.