Pet Care Tips and Articles

How to Rent With Pets - Tips for Finding (and Keeping) a Pet-Friendly Rental

Excerpted From: Pet-Friendly Housing - How to Rent With Pets

Landlords want to protect their investment. As a pet owner, you want to show a prospective landlord that you are a responsible tenant and a responsible pet owner. You want to convince the landlord that it would be a good thing to have you as a tenant! Here are a few things to consider when renting with pets:

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Create a Resume For Your Pet

It might sound funny to have a resume for an animal, but it can help show a landlord that you are a responsible pet owner. Include helpful information like obedience and socialization classes, any volunteer work your pet might have done (eg. pet-assisted therapy work), references from veterinarians, dog trainers, pet sitters, neighbors, previous landlords, etc.. You could also include a copy of your pet's vaccination records to show that he's healthy and is up-to-date on vaccines. It also helps to show that your pet is spayed or neutered. Finally, include a short write-up about you as a pet owner.

Offer the Prospective Landlord a Visit

Offer a prospective landlord the opportunity to visit you at your current residence. He can then meet your pet and see how well you keep your current rental unit.

Take a Few Days Off

Try to take a few days off when you move into a new place to help your pet adjust. It's new for your pet too, and sometimes even the quietest pets will get anxious in new surroundings and make excessive noise, disturbing the neighbors. It often helps if you can be there to help your pet adjust to his new home.

Be A Good Neighbor

Make sure your pets don't disturb your neighbors, whether it's with noise, pets wandering loose, or unsightly messes. Remember that your landlord has to deal with complaints and won't be happy if it keeps happening.

Promptly Deal With Any Issues

Be diligent about addressing any concerns your landlord may have. If an issue arises about your pet, make sure you understand what the problem is and take immediate steps to address it. For example, your dog may bark excessively when you first move in because he's unsure of his surroundings. Try another temporary solution (put your dog in a comfy covered crate with his bedding, toys, and water; take him to a doggy daycare; take a few days off to help your dog adjust...).


Get Permission

Get permission for all types of pets, not just dogs. Sometimes tenants assume that indoor cats or caged pets will automatically be okay because no one else ever sees them. Trouble (and heartache) arises when they're found to have pets without permission. There are many landlords that place restrictions on what types of pets you can have. Even birds are a touchy issue because their singing, chirping, and sometimes even talking can be loud and disruptive to other residents of the building.

Check Your Rental Agreement

Most of the time you will need to get approval from your landlord before you get a pet (even if you already have one, you'll need permission to bring one into the rental unit). Many rental units have a limit on the number of pets you can have, the size of the pet, or the types of pets allowed.

Get It In Writing

A verbal acceptance of your pet isn't good enough. Ask to get it in writing so that you have some protection if they later ask you to get rid your pet (if you violate any of the rules they may be able to do it anyways). Make sure your rental agreement states the name and type of your pet(s).

Have A Backup Plan

Be prepared with temporary housing plans. You might not be able to find pet-friendly housing right away so have a backup plan in place. Ask a good friend or a family member if they would be willing to care for your pet temporarily until you can find rental housing that allows pets. If you can't bear the thought of being away from your pet, then stay at short-term pet-friendly accommodations like hotels or even a B&B or a cottage.

It Can Work!

Although landlords and tenants are often at odds about the issue of allowing pets in rental units, there are many successful landlord-tenant relationships that include pets. Landlords are happy to have responsible tenants with pets as it can mean less turnover. Tenants with pets are likewise happy to have decent "pets allowed" housing and will take good care of the rental unit.