Renter's disbelief at being asked to pay extra to keep his two cats in ‘pet-friendly' Dublin apartment

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A man has told of his disbelief after he was told he would be charged extra on top of his rent to keep his pet cats in a Dublin apartment.

Roy Ferris said that when he viewed a new two-bed apartment in the Griffith Wood development in Drumcondra, he was told he would have to pay “pet rent” for his two cats, Iris and Isaac.

Mr Ferris said he was told it would cost an extra €75 per cat, each month.

He told RTÉ’s Liveline programme that he and his partner are planning to move back to Dublin and he was attracted to the apartment which is part of a new development.

Mr Ferris said the two-bed unit was being advertised for €2,250 per month and when he viewed at the weekend, he was very impressed by it.

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“Upon making further enquiries, it turned out that the actual price for a two-bed apartment in the complex was €2,550, not €2,250 as advertised. We have two cats and it’s €75 per cat, per month. The pet rent,” he said.

The apartment company subsequently told that the additional charge was €75 in total per month regardless of how many pets a tenant kept, to cover wear and tear. It also said there were still apartments priced at €2,250 per month available in the complex.

Mr Ferris said there was no mention of the “pet rent” in the brochure for the building online, despite the development being described as “pet friendly”.

He said he was told that parking spaces also cost an additional €50 per month – a fact he said he was also made aware of on the day.

“When I sent an initial email, I was called back by a lady who did ask me do I have pets, but she didn’t refer to any pet rent,” he said.

The Griffith Wood development was built by Cairn Homes PLC and a number of units, including the one viewed by Mr Ferris, was taken over by the American headquartered property giant Greystar earlier this year.

Mr Ferris said if he was to give up his two cats, he and his partner would save up to €2,000 a year in rent.

He added that they feel their time has been wasted.

Speaking of the apartments in the development, he said: “You can’t fault them – lovely. A bit on top of each other [more] than I’m used to, but you could get over that for the standard of the apartments. They were nice but I’m a bit miffed. My time has been wasted. Had I known in the beginning, I wouldn’t have bothered going to be honest.”

He added that the “pet rent” means the cost the apartment is now out of the couple’s price range.

A spokesperson for Greystar told that the firm sees itself as being “very pet friendly”.

In response to Mr Ferris’s being told it would cost him €150 per month extra for her two cats, the spokesperson clarified that the company charges a flat fee of €75 per month in total whether a tenant has one pet or more.

“While many developments do not allow pets or limit them to certain sections, Greystar are pet friendly and allow residents to keep pets in all apartments. Pet rents or pet deposits are the norm in modern developments which permit animals and we charge a monthly fee for pets such as cats or dogs which run loose in apartments,” the spokesperson said.

“A total fee of €75, which is for one or more pets, is to cover soiling and additional wear and tear caused by the pets. There is no fee for pets which remain contained such as gerbils, hamsters, birds etc.”

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