Renter's Rules

California Law Bans Landlords From Requiring Declawed, 'Devoiced' Pets


California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prevents landlords from requiring tenants to have their pets' claws removed or vocal cords silenced. Landlords cannot reject tenants who refuse the surgeries to declaw or "devoice," and can't advertise in a way that discourages people whose pets have claws or vocal cords.

The law, SB1229, also stipulates that any landlord caught advertising or establishing those rental policies will face civil fines of up to $1,000 for each pet. Of course, any landlord who doesn't want to risk having annoyingly loud or sharp-clawed animals in a rental is still allowed to enforce a no-pets policy.

In 2010, then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill that he said went "too far in attempting to deal with inappropriate demands by landlords."

(For advice on how to live with a pet -- claws, voice and all -- see AOL Real Estate's guide to pet-friendly living.)

How annoying can a noisy pet be? While they wouldn't be affected by this law, it's probably not happy news for Craig Fontaine and Kathleen Melker of Warwick, R.I., who say their neighbors trained a cockatoo to repeatedly shout obscenities at them.

See also:
New Off-Ramp's Noise Leaves Homeowners Feeling Stranded
Family Faces Eviction Over Toddler's Noise
Soundproofing Against Outdoor Noise

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