Tips for Renting with Pets
If you have been looking for an apartment or house to rent, but are struggling to find a place that welcomes your pet, you are probably feeling pretty discouraged. This is especially true if you have been turned down by multiple places or you are in a time crunch, and need to find a place immediately. Maybe you have already read moving reviews and are ready to hire a company. Believe it or not, it is actually a lot easier to find a pet-friendly rental than you might think.
Look for Privately Owned Properties
Large apartment complexes and high rises typically have strict renting with pets policies that are not negotiable. The property manager is paid to enforce rules, so no amount of begging will help. If they break the rules for you, they have to break them for everyone. Keep in mind that just because an apartment complex advertises that they accept pets does not mean they will welcome your pet with open arms. Many have weight and breed restrictions.
You will have a much easier time finding a pet-friendly rental, if you stick with a privately owned apartment or house. The person you are renting from is the person who makes the final decision.
Ask in Person
You see a house listed on Craigslist, but it does not state if pets are welcomed. It can be tempting to email or call and ask if they will accept pets, but don’t. It is too easy for them just to say, “No!” In most cases, landlords don’t state if they are allowed because they decide on a per case basis. Others generally don’t allow, but may be willing to bend the rules for the right renter.
It is understandable that you are getting antsy and you don’t want to waste time, if they are just going to turn you down. After all, you have already used moving reviews to select a company and half your life is likely sitting in boxes waiting to be moved. However, inquiring about a pet policy when one is not offered should be done in person.
Go in Armed
The more prepared you are to plead your case the better chance you have for the landlord agreeing to renting with pets. Be on time, and have all the information you need organized in a folder. You want to show them that you are a responsible pet parent who really has it together. Below are a few things to bring along.
- Vet Records – Showing that your pet is vaccinated, properly cared for, and hopefully spayed and neutered is a good place to start.
- Pet Resume – Before you laugh, think about how impressed you would be if someone handed you a professional quality pet resume. You can find templates online, but basically it should include a photo, description, training, enjoyed activities, health, and grooming.
- References – If you are currently renting, a letter of recommendation from your landlord will be very valuable. You may also consider a recommendation from neighbors. You should also have a list of references to contact should there be an emergency.
- Copy of Renter’s Insurance – Many landlords are nervous about welcoming dogs because of liability issues and the risk of destruction. Of course, we all know that a Chihuahua is as likely to bite as a large breed, but let’s face it; bites from smaller dogs don’t make the news. The media is only interested in these stories when they pertain to a breed already deemed dangerous. Showing the landlord that you already have a renter’s insurance policy is a weight off their shoulders and shows how responsible you really are.
- Pictures of Yard – Thinking of renting with pets with a Husky or other breed known to dig can be like an endless battle, especially if the landlord has worked hard on the landscaping. Provide pictures of your current nicely maintained property to show your dog does not fit the stereotype. Obviously, if you have craters in your yard from your dog trying to dig to the center of the Earth, this does not apply.
Being honest is crucial. Don’t lie about your dog’s weight and size because they will find out. If you have a dog often viewed as dangerous, simply refer to it as a mix breed. Unless you paid a fortune for a pure breed and did not adopt from a rescue or shelter, you are telling the truth anyway. You don’t know the dog’s bloodline, and no one can prove a breed by judging appearance.
If you are still struggling to find a place, the ASPCA has sources to find pet-friendly homes. Something will turn up. Then, you can finally hire a company based on the moving reviews you read and get settled. Your pet will appreciate the efforts.