If you’re a renter like me, you probably know how hard it is to find pet-friendly apartments – particularly if you’re a dog owner. It’s not easy renting and being a dog owner. It often requires a lot of preplanning and forethought when planning a move with your beloved pup in tow. Landlords definitely don’t make it easy. But here are some tips of how you can find a pet-friendly place for you and your beloved fur baby.
This one is a no-brainer. Nowadays, most everything that will help you with your apartment search is online. Websites such as Craigslist, Trulia, and Apartments.com are all sites with the option to filter through the listings that don’t accept pets. This is a great way to avoid finding a great place only to later be crushed when you’re told they don’t accept pets. There are even such sights as PeopleWithPets.com that specifically post only pet-friendly rentals.
2. Search for Private Landlords
Renting from a private landlord as opposed to a management company can prove easier to negotiate with. Most management companies are strictly no pets, and they rarely will ever budge.
3. Keep Size in Mind
Even if you don’t have a pet right now but you’re planning on getting one in the near future, think about how that might affect your rental situation. Even if your landlord is ok with you getting a pet, there still might be some restrictions. Some landlords will only allow cats or other small animals. Some will be okay with dogs under a certain weight, which usually ranges between 20 to 50 pounds. So if you were thinking of getting a St. Bernard, you may need to rent a bigger place or hold off until you have a place of your own.
4. Make a Pet Resume
The rental market is brutal. Searching for a place to rent is very much like an endless job interview. And while we know how to sell ourselves, we also need to sell our pets, too. That is why it would be very wise to get in touch any former landlords, obedience trainers, or dog walkers who might be able to write a letter of recommendation for your dog that vouches for their good behavior. Plus, if you create a resume for them you can include their medical history, certifications, age, breed, size, etc. If your landlord still isn’t convinced, it never hurts to suggest setting up an interview so they can meet your pup in person and get to know them personally.
5. Offer Up a Pet Deposit
There are some rentals who will require an upfront pet deposit in order to allow pets. If you have a landlord who is hesitant about letting a pet move in, you can always suggest to them that you’d be willing to pay them a pet deposit in order to hopefully bring them around to saying yes to letting a pet move in.
6. Location, Location, Location
When we’re searching for a place it’s hard not to jump as soon as we find a nice place that is a decent commute and pet-friendly – it’s the renting scene so of course, you want to sign the lease immediately. But just because the place might be perfect for you, it doesn’t mean that your pet will love it. Research the area first, especially if your pet is a dog. You want to make sure that there are parks within walking distance or a short drive away, and that there are services like groomers, vets, doggie daycare, etc. within the area as well. The last thing you want is to sign a year’s lease and then realize afterward that the nearest vet is two hours away and the local park is a shady place where nefarious transactions go down. It might take a little extra search time, but it’ll be well worth it when you find a pet-friendly apartment located in an equally dog-friendly neighborhood.
7. Know Your Renter’s Rights
It varies from state to state, but you should familiarize yourself with your renter’s rights as well as the state laws. For example, if your landlord doesn’t specifically mention their pet policy then you may have a little legal wiggle room depending on what your local laws are. That is why it’s such a good idea to know your renter’s rights so there are no surprises.