Judy Guth doesn't care if you have great references, pay your rent on time, or are as quiet as a mouse.
Without a dog or cat, you're not getting one of her cherished apartments that come with new carpeting — in lieu of a security deposit — for an extra $100 a month.
When it's paid off — usually in about a year — the carpeting is yours. If you decide to move, which few people do, you can take it with you. Nobody ever has, though.
Most of Judy's tenants in her 12-unit apartment house have lived there over a decade — a few more than two. If a pet dies, she takes the tenant to the animal shelter to adopt a new one. It's either that or move.
No pet, no apartment. Those are the ground rules at Judy's place.
“This is the first I've heard of a landlord renting to only people with pets,” says Terri Shea, operations manager of the 3,000-member Apartment Association of Southern California Cities, based in Long Beach.
People have accused her of discrimination, and maybe she is biased, Judy says. But she doesn't care.
“My experience has told me you get people with a lot of love in their hearts when you get pet owners,” she says.
A spokesperson for the L.A. City Attorney's Office says there is nothing in the law that prohibits someone from refusing to rent to people with or without pets.
The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, and disability, but pets are given a pass.