*I know about the bias that exists among landlords regarding pit bulls. After moving to California a few years ago, I searched for weeks for a rental that would allow me to keep my two rescue mutts, Reeses (named by my youngest, after the candy bar) and Rover Jo (named by me — die-hard Muppet fans will get it).
After a landlord told me he didn’t have breed restrictions, I had to tell him that my pit mix Jo was a “terrier mix” —- which is technically true — because hearing from a neighbor that she was a pit bull had sent the landlord into an eviction-seeking tailspin. I bought a house a few months later, and all’s right with the world now.
Having had the aforementioned experience, I was thrilled to learn of Kara Montalbano, who’s looking for employed, responsible tenants for her Rhode Island home. Oh, yeah, there’s one more stipulation. Ideally, her new tenants will have pit bulls.
“If they don’t,” Montalbano told the Huffington Post, “I know they won’t have a problem finding another place to live, and I will wish them luck. I prefer renters with pit pulls because I know how hard it is to find a place to live with one, for no reason other than the ignorance and labels.”
Turns out Montalbano’s experience finding a rental mirrors mine. She bought her house a couple of years ago, after having had a difficult time finding a rental that would allow her own pair of dogs. “I looked for about two weeks and knew it was going to be a waste of time, so I decided to buy,” she says.
Since her listing went up about two weeks ago, Montalbano’s had dozens of inquiries from would-be tenants. She’s also heard from lots of folks who aren’t looking for a place — they wanted to thank her for providing a home for families with pit bulls.
Down the road, Montalbano would love to buy more rentals and cater to this clearly under-served community. And even more than that, she’d love to have other landlords steal her clientele away from her by opening up their units — and hearts — to families with pits.
“I have something that can sincerely help keep a family together, so why wouldn’t I rent to a family with a pit bull?” she says. “To me, this should be the norm, and I don’t think I’m doing anything that I wouldn’t expect other dog lovers to do.”