Top Tips for Renting with Pets
It’s perfectly understandable that many landlords are nervous about renting to pet owners. Unfortunately, there are people who allow their pets to damage the property, disturb neighbors, giving pet-owning renters a bad reputation. Yet, these people are in fact, the exception. It is important for landlords to realize that the majority of pet owners are respectful of the residence they rent. Below we’ve compiled a list with things pet owners might find helpful.
Finding the rental home that accepts you and your furry friend
This part is never easy, regardless of breed or size. However, if you take as much time as possible to search, you’ll find the one. These days, websites with listings have filters especially designed to meet the need of pet owners (one such website is RentCafé). Also, reach out to friends and family, use networking sites and social media to uncover connections and opportunities.
Creating a pet “resume” seems to become more and more popular these days, so make one too—include a photo, favorite activities, certifications and even a short adoption story. Extras can include a letter of reference from a current or most recent landlord, written proof that your Fido has completed a training class or a letter from the vet attesting that your pet is spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccines. In addition, invite the landlord(s) to meet your pet. Finally, be prepared to pay a reasonable extra amount in rent or pay a refundable pet deposit.
Not that we want to set your hopes too high, but there had been cases when, even if a landlord advertises “no pets” or has size and breed restrictions, some made exceptions, especially when they are pet lovers themselves. It never hurts to ask.
Signing the lease
NEVER sign a lease that says “no pets allowed”, not even if you see other pets on the property, or if a realtor, manager or landlord says it’s fine. Keep in mind that in this case, the only words that matter are the ones written in the lease.
Whatever pet deposit or monthly fee you pay for your four-legged buddy, make sure it’s specified in writing in the lease agreement. A signed copy of the lease needs to be stored safely so that it can be easily retrieved when needed.
Please remember that as a pet-owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pet is also a wanted resident at your apartment community. If you allow your pet to disobey property rules, damage the property and make others uncomfortable, not only will you put yourself in the situation to search for a new place, but you could actually ruin prospects for other pet owners interested in moving in.