Full Title Name:  When Fido is Family: How Landlord-Imposed Pet Bans Restrict Access to Housing

Share |
Kate O'Reilly-Jones Place of Publication:  Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems Publish Year:  2018 Primary Citation:  52 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 427 (Spring, 2019) 0 Country of Origin:  United States
Summary: Renters today face widespread landlord-imposed pet restrictions. At the same time, Americans increasingly view their pets as family members, and many do not see giving up their animals as an option when looking for housing. Consequently, pet-owning renters often struggle to find suitable places to live and end up compromising on quality, location, and safety. As homeownership drops and renting becomes more prevalent across the United States, landlord-imposed pet restrictions increasingly constrain choices, effectively reducing access to housing for many Americans. These policies particularly impact low-income families and those with socially-maligned dog breeds.

This Note analyzes how landlord-imposed pet restrictions burden renters with dogs, with a particular focus on renters in the Los Angeles area. Parts II and III explain how legal and cultural attitudes toward pets are evolving, and how public and private restrictions constrain pet ownership. Part IV discusses the impact of landlord-imposed pet restrictions on renters and compares the situation to non-rental contexts in which people have sacrificed their own well-being to protect their pets. Part V asserts that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and the penumbral right to privacy can be interpreted to protect pet-owning families from government-imposed pet restrictions. It argues that while these constitutional protections do not apply in the private rental context, they do suggest that landlords unreasonably infringe on renters' privacy interests and that legislators should act to constrain landlord control.
Documents:  PDF icon When Fido is Family.pdf (486.97 KB)

Copyright © 2019 by the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Inc.; Kate O'Reilly-Jones (reprinted with permission)



Share |