Finding a pet-friendly apartment for your dog may require some homework, but it is doable. It is helpful to seek rentals specifically advertised as pet-friendly. If a rental is not advertised as pet-friendly, you may need to negotiate and make special arrangements with the landlord. Renting with a dog can be tricky, as many landlords will turn down furry pets. However, rentals that are specified as pet-friendly will provide more generous accommodations. Using specific strategies will set you on the path to securing a rental with your fur baby.
Here are the important considerations to keep in mind when renting with a dog.
Provide Pet References
A landlord will likely seek references before agreeing to rent out a space to you. This is one way to check in advance what level of risk you might present for them. They may want to use this same method for your dog. If you are prepared to provide some references from either a past or current landlord, or even a neighbor, they may feel better about offering to rent to you or pick you over someone else.
Use a Pet Resume
You may also find it helpful to provide a pet resume. This can give a landlord peace of mind as the document will verify important information regarding your dog. Obviously, the goal is to make your dog look good and highlight features that would make them a low-risk tenant. You might consider including things like proof of spaying or neutering and proving that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, as well as your plans for flea/heartworm management. If your dog has been in obedience school or any special training, documentation of that can also be helpful.
Plan for the Extra Fees or Deposits
You will likely be expected to pay extra fees and deposits to help the landlord cover any costs of damages your dog may cause. Keep in mind that the pet deposit and a pet fee are not the same things. A pet deposit is a part of the security deposit which you will hopefully get back at the end of your lease either partially or in full. There is also often a pet fee, which is non-refundable. A landlord may ask for this to be paid up-front all at once or may allow you to do monthly payments, adding it to your rent bill.
Get Everything in Writing
When the landlord agrees to rent to you, you must get the agreement in writing along with all related contracts, such as the costs of your pet deposit and any pet fees. These agreements should be in the lease contract and be very clearly specified. Review these details with your landlord and have them initial any changes in the lease during the signing. After you have both signed the contract, it cannot be changed without both you and your landlord agreeing. If there are any changes in your dog ownership situation, be sure to let your landlord know immediately as they will need to approve it, which will also need to be in writing.
Keep your Dog Well-behaved
Once all the above has been squared away, you will want to ensure that your landlord does not regret renting to you and your dog. Ensure that your dog doesn’t bark or whine (both while you are at home and when you are gone). It is also smart to check that they are not chewing on things that they shouldn’t be. Do your very best to prevent any destructive issues.
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