As the California Legislature moves forward with a bill aimed at eliminating blanket bans on pets in rental housing, the California Apartment Association continues to oppose the measure.  Earlier this month, the bill advanced from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is now on the Assembly Floor.

Assemblyman Matt Haney

In addition to banning automatic no-pet policies, AB 2216 by Assemblyman Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, would prohibit landlords from inquiring about pets on rental applications and would eliminate extra monthly fees known as “pet rent.”

Understanding the potential impact of these changes — and the likelihood that the bill could become law – Judiciary Committee members made clear to Haney that the bill must allow rental property owners to collect a larger security deposit to cover potential damage created by a tenant’s pet. Last year, Assembly Member Haney successfully authored legislation to limit security deposits to an amount equal to one month’s rent.  Judiciary Committee members demanded an additional amount of security equal to one additional month of rent for those tenants with pets.

The bill also includes liability protections for property owners and provisions that may allow landlords to exclude pets under certain justified circumstances, such as health and safety considerations. The bill also uses the term “common household pets,” aiming to alleviate concerns about more unusual or exotic pets.

While remaining opposed to the bill, CAA will continue to make the case for amendments, such as strengthening exemptions for specific types of properties, such as single rooms in shared houses, where the presence of pets could pose significant challenges due to allergies or space constraints.