According to national surveys, around 70% of Americans own at least one pet. With such a vast population of pet owners, one would think that finding a pet-friendly housing option would be a piece of cake. However, looking for an apartment or landlord who won’t mind your favorite furry friend moving in with you is not that easy.
No matter how grim the situation might seem, we have some good news, too. Finding a pet-friendly rental can be seamless if you know the right tricks. Follow along, and we will introduce you to all of them.
Extensive Research Is Important
There are many listings of pet-friendly apartments out there. However, not all of them are legit, and not all of them will be suitable for you. For example, a lot of ads will say an apartment is pet-friendly to draw people in or get a better standing online. But when you actually ask the landlord about it, they will say that they don’t accept pets.
The example above shows why doing extensive research on any building and landlord that catches your eye is essential. Check any reviews on real estate sites, and ask around in the neighborhood. That way, you will ensure you find the best possible home for yourself and your pet.
Your Pet’s Size Makes All the Difference
Most landlords don’t mind you having a pet goldfish or a turtle. You could probably keep these pets even if the apartment isn’t pet-friendly, as long as you talk to the landlord beforehand.
Goldfish or turtles are ideal pets in the eyes of landlords because of various reasons:
- They are small and rather inconspicuous.
- They don’t leave their tanks and enclosures. Even if they do, in the case of turtles or other similar animals, they won’t damage anything.
- They are relatively clean and easy to keep.
The same does not apply to dogs or cats. These pets are seen as too untidy as they often shed fur. Additionally, they move around a lot and might cause extensive damage to furniture or the apartment in general. Cats, and dogs especially, can also be rather loud, which can disturb the neighbors.
All in all, you will definitely need a pet-friendly apartment or house if you have a dog, cat, bunny, or anything similar. If you have something smaller, you might be able to reach an agreement with your landlord even if their place isn’t listed as pet-friendly.
Pet Deposits and Pet Fees
Your building management and landlord might also ask you to pay an additional sum of money if you will be bringing your pet with you. This sum can either be in the form of a deposit or a pet fee.
A pet deposit is a specific amount of money your landlord adds to your security deposit. They will keep this money on the side and use it to pay to fix anything your pet might damage. If nothing is amiss when the time comes to move out of the apartment, you will get the money back along with your security deposit.
A pet fee is a bit different. It is a non-refundable sum of money you pay to your landlord. They keep this money in reserve, so they can pay for any damage your pet might cause. Pet fees are usually one-time payments, but you can also spread it out and pay a smaller sum every month with your rent.
If you have a service animal and all the necessary documents that prove that, you do not have to pay a pet fee. The rules for service animals are more lenient in general, so this isn’t an exception.
Renters Insurance Will Be a Requirement
Most pet-friendly rentals require that you get renters insurance before signing a lease. This type of insurance covers any damage to your own things in case of a disaster happening. However, it might also include liability coverage for pet damage.
This coverage will pay for any damage your pet might do to the furniture or apartment in general. It will also cover your expenses if your pet injures someone and they sue you for damages.
Most landlords will be fine with any type of renters insurance policy. The only important thing is that it includes pet damage. The average cost of renters insurance each month is $14.90, meaning that you can find some really affordable policies out there.
Give Your Pet Some Credibility
Getting a landlord to agree to you moving in with your pet can be much easier if you come prepared. Ask your previous landlord or your neighbors to write letters of recommendation. It doesn’t have to be extensive or too long, just a few words to say you never caused problems and that your furry friend was well-behaved.
Additionally, it might help if you can provide some proof of any training your pet has received. Include that in their resume, along with all their vaccinations or anything else that might be relevant and prove they are healthy. This resume will further solidify your position as an excellent potential tenant, and your landlord will agree to sign a lease more easily.
As you have read, renting an apartment with a pet in tow is not the easiest thing in the world. However, it can become much easier if you know some little tricks and you prepare on time. Hopefully, our guide helps you learn what those tricks are and how you can make the experience better. Happy apartment hunting!