There’s nothing quite like the unconditional love you get from a pet. Sharing your life with a dog, cat, pig, fish, hamster, or any other animal can be extremely rewarding.
However, for as much as they add to our lives, pets are also known to cause problems.
For one, they can make it extremely hard to find a place to live. Because of the extra mess some animals cause, many landlords don’t like renting to pet owners.
But not all places have rules against pets. So, when you’re making your list of questions to ask during your apartment hunt, make sure to include one about the property’s pet policy. There are plenty of property owners out there who’ll be happy to host you and your furry friend. You just have to know where to look!
Looking for a pet-friendly apartment? Here are 5 ideas to help you in your search:
Check With Local Animal Agencies
Local animal shelters are the perfect place to start your search. They may be able to point you toward apartment complexes that welcome pets.
This is also a good place to start because it can help connect you to the local pet owners community, which is especially helpful if you’re new in town. There may be Facebook pages or email lists where you can ask around for more information.
Even if this doesn’t work, then you’ll at least get a trip to the local animal shelter and be able to see all the cuties waiting for someone to take them home. What could be wrong with that?
Meet with Landlords
If you find a place you like, but your landlord isn’t convinced they want to allow you to rent it with your pet, set up a face-to-face meeting with them. Sometimes, landlords just have to meet your pet to see that they have nothing to worry about.
Many landlords think of pets as being dirty, untrained animals that are going to wreck their floors and stink up the apartment. Others are afraid that your animal is going to be too loud (and anger the neighbors).
By bringing your pet to meet them, you may be able to change their mind. Sometimes, just a few minutes can cause them to fall in love and be more open to the idea of a pet living on their property.
This is also an opportunity to demonstrate you’re a responsible, caring pet owner who is respectful of how an animal can affect their property.
Just make sure that you schedule pet meetings ahead of time. Don’t surprise your landlord by bringing your dog over to greet them. You never know if someone might be terrified of animals and you don’t want to make the wrong first impression.
The majority of pet owners are responsible and respectful. Unfortunately, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch. It’s possible that your landlord may have had some bad experiences with others in the past.
If that’s the case, no amount of pleading will change their mind. But, providing references from past landlords might be a way to prove that you’re a good pet owner. This gives you more credibility and increases your chances of securing the apartment.
My recommendation is to bring references to your landlord without them even having to ask. Being proactive shows that you’re motivated and that it was easy for you to acquire these references.
So if you can, get a letter of recommendation before you move out of your current place so that you’ll have them on hand when you need them.
Create a Pet Resume
I know, it sounds weird to write a resume for a Rat Terrier. But, pet resumes are a great way to convince a landlord that your pet won’t be a problem. It not only shows professionalism on your part but also provides more information about your animal.
Things to include on your pet’s resume include:
- It’s name
- It’s age
- Other training
- How well it’s potty training
- Whether it’s spayed or neutered
- Exercise habits (to show the landlord that your pet will be okay living in an apartment)
- Any additional information you think can present your pet in a positive light.
Offer More Rent or a Higher Security Deposit
When in doubt, offer more money. A few extra bucks do wonders to get the landlord on your side. On your end, think of this as a pet fee, which many places charge anyway.
Make sure to stay within your budget, though. You don’t want to ruin your finances because you had to have a certain place. If one apartment isn’t doable, there are definitely more options out there.
If you can’t afford to pay more in rent, another option is to suggest a higher security deposit. This gives the landlord a little extra peace of mind since they’ll be covered if your pet causes damage.
If you take this approach, you’ll have to make sure your pet stays as well-behaved as they are right now so that you can recoup your deposit when the lease expires.
Honestly, it’s not as hard as it used to be to find a pet-friendly apartment. In every town, there are at least a few landlords who’ll be happy to house you and your animal buddy.
But, there’s always a chance you might run into trouble. By keeping these tips in mind as you search, you’ll be able to find a great apartment for you and your pet.
Author Bio: Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over 10 years of experience in the student housing industry and works with Dwell Tenn Street on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.