If you’re moving into a new apartment, finding pet-friendly housing can be difficult. Though cats are often okay, larger dogs and specific breeds may be banned from most buildings. Additionally, landlords will sometimes stipulate that cats have their claws removed or are otherwise of a certain temperament before allowing them to live in a space. However, finding pet-friendly housing can be done. Here are our favorite tips for finding the pet-friendly apartment of your dreams.
- Make use of available resources. Contact the humane society or animal care and control agency in the area to which you are moving. They may be able to provide you with a list of apartment communities that allow pets. If you’re working with a real estate agent, emphasize that you need pet-friendly housing. Additionally, many online apartment-finding sites have a pet-friendly filter that you can easily switch on.
- Cut your losses. Understand that selling yourself and a pet to a large rental community with a no-pets policy is likely to go nowhere. You may have better luck with a small building or managing landlord, but nothing is ever guaranteed. Instead, focus your efforts on buildings you know to be pet-friendly. Ideally, look for a community with appropriate pet-keeping guidelines that specify resident obligations, such as a 2-cat maximum. This is ideal for pet owners because you will know that other pet owners are committed to being responsible residents.
- Gather proof of your responsibility. The more documentation you can provide, the better. Compile a letter of reference from your current landlord verifying that you are a responsible pet owner, written proof that your dog has completed a training class, and a letter from your veterinarian.
- If you do encounter a no-pets policy, ask the right questions. Ask the landlord or building owner if their policy is the result of a negative experience with a previous resident. This may show you how to present your own request more effectively. Additionally, ask about any cleanliness issues and emphasize that you always properly dispose of your pet’s waste.
- Be willing to pay a little extra. Some building owners require a pet fee or pet rent. This is not uncommon, so expect to pay a bit more. If there is no additional fee but the landlord seems on the fence, offer to put more money down in the security deposit to cover any damages your pet might make to the property.
- Be honest. Don’t lie about owning a pet, and don’t try to sneak anybody in. This may result in possible eviction, which shows up on your credit report, or other legal action.