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Pets on campus costly for students

Kayla Byler / Lantern photographer

If a student owns a pet on campus, it can cost them hundreds of dollars, or possibly end in eviction.

Some students who frequently move homes are forced to give up their pets, sometimes because many realtors do not allow pets. Off-campus housing realtors such as Pella Company, Buckeye Real Estate and Kohr Royer Griffith, do not allow pets and have strict penalties, according to

their leases.

Sam Balyeat, a fifth-year in strategic communications, bought a cat in 2009 and was permitted to keep it in his home. However, Balyeat had to give up his cat when he moved from a private landlord to a Pella-owned apartment.

“I decided to sneak it into (the apartment) because I lived in a basement without any windows that were easy to see through,” Balyeat said. “And one day there was just an envelope on my door that said a cat was seen on your property, please come to our office now.”

Pella’s pet policy is stated in its lease and prohibits any kind of pet on the premises. Violations can cost students $100 extra a month on their rent or cause them to be evicted.

“They don’t really have a choice,” said Alexia Adamantidis, a representative at Pella. “They have to get rid of the pet.”

Adamantidis said that students who refuse to give up their pet are subject to eviction. Balyeat avoided eviction and said he paid the $100 fee once. Balyeat took his cat home to his parents’ house in Oregon.

“I was really stuck without a choice but to try and sneak her, but I really can’t complain on how (Pella) handled it,” Balyeat said. “It was nice that they only charged me a one-time fee.”

Julie Prenger, a fourth-year in marketing, owned a rabbit in her home against her pet policy. However, Prenger had to sell her pet rabbit before accepting a summer internship.

“It was in our lease that we were not allowed to have animals and I was leaving for the summer to go to Seattle,” Prenger said. “No one made me get rid of it, but it made sense to get rid of it.”

Prenger leased through North Steppe Realty when she owned her pet. North Steppe Realty does allow pets, but with restrictions. According to its lease, students leasing their property must sign a pet addendum to the lease. If students are caught with a pet without signing an addendum, penalty fees can cost students an initial $200 and an additional $25 a day until the pet is removed.

Leigh Bennett, a fourth-year in economics bought her dog and lived in a North Steppe Realty-owned property. Bennett said she had to pay a $200 pet deposit fee, and an additional $25 a month in pet rent.

For a 12-month lease, owning a pet can cost a student $500 in apartment fees and pet rent through North Steppe Realty.

Students who do own pets or want to own pets can lease through North Steppe Realty, University Manors, or University Apartments. Many of these realtors require students to sign pet addendums to their original lease. However, students may be forced to pay a deposit fee of about $200 and a monthly pet rent between $25 and $50 depending on the realtor.

Bennett still owns her dog and advises students to think about the responsibility of owning a pet before buying one.

“I think that before you even get the pet, you should really evaluate their finances and what their possible living situations could be to avoid that kind of situation,” Bennett said. “But if there is no way they can avoid it, like they really don’t have time for the dog, then they can give it to another family who can adopt the dog.”

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