Pets are part of your family, and when you’re looking for a new home rental it’s important to find housing that accepts all of you! Here are some tips to follow when looking for pet-friendly housing:
1. Take Time Looking
Because it can take some time, give yourself more time than you would normally take to look for an apartment or home rental. If you wait until the last minute, you may find it difficult to locate a place that allows pets without charging an outrageous fee. It might even be wise to check some resources first. Often, veterinarian offices and humane societies keep lists of places that rent to people with pets. Websites with rental listings also distinguish between places that accept pets and those that do not.
2. Sell Yourself and Your Pet
Be sure to sell both yourself and your pet. Prove that you are responsible and that your pet does not tear up property. Also, show how well you take care of the animal. Many property owners reject pets because of complaints from others regarding animals, because of messes caused inside or outside, and because of the cost of fixing damages caused by pets. Provide a reference from a previous landlord, if possible, and ask them to specifically mention your cleanliness and how you left the unit.
3. Expect Limitations
Although many apartment complexes do accept pets, realize there is usually a fee and a size and/or breed limit. There are also limits on how many pets will be accepted. Additionally, remember that if your pet is still a kitten or puppy, it will grow up to either be under the size limit or not. Obviously, you want to find a place that will accept your pet at full grown size.
4. Think Small
The biggest, flashiest apartment rental ads you see online are probably owned by larger management companies. They’ll have beautiful photos of the picture-perfect apartment, BBQ area, and sunny pool. Provided they even allow pets at all, larger complexes tend to charge higher pet deposits, and some even charge a monthly “pet rental” fee–per animal. It is generally easier to find a pet-friendly rental space through individuals or smaller rental agencies.
5. Be Honest
Above all, always be honest about your pet. Even if it means paying more or having to forego a particular property you prefer. Lying about an animal’s presence is a violation of your rental contract. It is a cause for eviction–for your pet or even you, as the renter. Please don’t be one of those pet owners that “rehome” because their landlord found out about their hidden pet. A pet is for life, and please consider all options before choosing a home for you and your companions!