Calls to abolish "pet rent" for tenants as landlords charge extra to house animals
"€75 per cat, per month."
For anyone who has ever been a renter, it's fair to say you might have had a dodgy housemate.
They might leave all their dirty dishes in the sink, or maybe they think that brushing your teeth is 'optional'. You might even have a flatmate that's always late when it comes to paying their rent. But what if your housemate is also your cat?
This is a reality for some renters in Dublin, who say they've had extra charges on their rent for owning a pet.
On Monday's episode of Liveline, listener Roy Ferris talked about plans to move home with his partner Sandra, happy with the agreed price.
After further discussion, however, they discovered that the owners of the property had upped the price by €150 to allow the couple to bring their cats with them to the new apartment.
According to the company in charge of the property, this broke down to "€75 per cat, per month".
An agent for the company said in a call with Roy that a woman was paying €75 each for her three gerbils as well.
With all additional charges in place, including the "pet rent" and the cost of parking in the complex for the month, the rent rose from €2250 per month to €2800; an increase of €550.
To put this into perspective, imagine having to buy a Playstation 5 every month just so you could keep your belongings in one place.
Liveline host Joe Duffy described the whole ordeal as "stupid" at one point, and pondered what the property provided for pets at €75 a month that other properties didn't.
The Labour Party's spokesperson on housing, Senator Rebecca Moynihan, called for the end of this practice in a statement published on the party's website.
Moynihan described the practice as "yet another example of the power imbalance" in the rental market between renters and landlords.
"Renters are expected to put up with extortionate rents, evictions at the drop of the hat and many can’t make the place feel like a home," she added.