08 May, 2009

What Do You Mean They Have a Pit Bull?

A friend of ours, who lives in our old building, called this afternoon. "Um, guys," he says, "I don't know if you're aware of this, but your tenants now have two large pit bulls; one of them peed off the balcony onto the decks below. And I think there are new people living there, too."

Great. It's the kind of call every landlord just loves to get. We decided to swing by and check things out. Turns out that yes, there were two American Staffordshire Terriers staying there--two beautiful, big, friendly dogs. However, the lease says we must approve pets first. Additionally, we have a pet deposit and a size limit on dogs. Hardwood floors and two very large dogs don't mix. We have one medium-size dog and hardwood floors, so we are all-too-aware of what kind of damage they can do. So, as much as we love big galumphing dogs, we really can't let them stay.

We're not confrontational people by nature, but I think the unplanned meeting went well; the tenants are nice and promised to get the dogs out by the weekend. The extra people are just temporary guests. But one of the three tenants does want to move out, so we'll be dealing with sublessors soon, a new experience for us.

Overall, the landlord gig feels like a drag today. We still haven't found tenants for the unit upstairs from us, although everyone who has come through really likes it. Just when we think we have an application, someone's plans change. Oops, it's the wrong school; it's a longer commute to work than they thought; they can't afford it after all; one of the roommates isn't ready to move yet; etc. But at least we're getting the impression that it's priced right.

Please keep your fingers crossed, everyone, that we'll find new tenants for upstairs soon. And if any of you landlord types have dealt with a sublease before, I'd love to hear your feedback.

6 comments:

Karen Anne said...

What are they planning on doing with the dogs...

Amalie said...

Oooh. I love pit bulls... I would only get one as a puppy or one that had been vetted by a pet rescue organization, but I do love them. However, I have a terrible fear that I would get one and the city would ban them or insurance would drop me or something like that. So probably no pit bulls for me...Staffordshire bull terrier nanny dogs, on the other hand...

As for tenants...uh, it's not like they snuck a cat in the building. Did they think no one would notice two big dogs of a conspicuous breed suddenly living there?

Green Fairy said...

KA--I'm not sure; when I talked to one of the tenants, he seemed to indicate the dogs were only there temporarily anyway. Our lease says one dog and the size limit is 25 pounds. Two fifty pound dogs is too much. I do worry when so many people are giving up their pets in this economy what will happen to these dogs; at the same time, I need to worry about the condition of the condo and its future resell value, and respect the needs of the other residents/owners of the building. The ones below can hear the dogs as they run back and forth, and there are babies and small dogs in the building, too. I love AmStaffs, but as a landlord I also don't want the liability risk associated with big dogs.

Amalie--It's sad how the pit bull has gained such an undeserved bad reputation in recent years. There are concerns as a result from bad breeding, and the dogs need an owner's firm hand, but for years they were considered gentle giant family dogs. There was a proposed ban in Chicago, but I'm not sure whatever happened with that.

Tonia said...

I'm a cat person who loves dogs. I've always been nervous around pits because of their reputation, but lately - whenever I see a gorgeous dog on the street and ask the owner what kind it is - it's always a pit bull (by that name or another fancier one). I can't imagine having one as long as I have cats, but there's just something about their big grin-y smile that makes me melt.

On a baser note, I hope there were no neighbors on the lower balcony when the pitty piddle incident took place!

Green Fairy said...

Any small part of me that was feeling bad for the tenants' situation has vanished. The neighbors across the hall from our rental unit let us know that the dogs aren't very well controlled. The wife opened the door and the dogs ran into their unit, one of them jumping on her very-pregnant (due in three weeks) belly. Another time she had to scoop her toddler up as the dogs came barreling down the stairs. I'm pro big dogs, but owners really need to have a firm hand with them. Even the friendliest of dogs can accidentally hurt a child.

Tonia--The neighbors on the balcony below were having a BBQ. Yikes.

Tonia said...

Yikes indeed!

I bet that put a damper on things. [/ducking]