Any seasoned pet-owning renter will tell you that the going can get pretty tough when you’re looking for the perfect place for you and your furry friend to call home. While the majority of landlords won’t give a second thought to fish or caged pets, dogs and cats are an entirely different story.

Last week, we talked about how to manage pet ownership with the challenges of college life.  For those who intend to live off-campus in an effort to find a pet-friendly home, this should serve as a helpful guide in addition to what you read last week.  It’s also intended to provide some useful tips for anyone who is new to the whole pets-in-a-rental dynamic.

Let’s start with a few of the most common restrictions.  Even the most pet-friendly landlords and apartment community managers have certain limits that they place on your rights when bringing pets into your home.  For example:

  • Most rentals place a limit on the number of pets allowed in a home.
  • Many will also limit the size of the animals that they allow.
  • Some rentals favor one type of animal over the other. For instance, they may allow cats, but no dogs, or vice versa.
  • Unfortunately, some rentals will also have restrictions about certain breeds of dogs, as well. Most typically, these are breeds that have been mislabeled as “inherently dangerous” or “naturally aggressive” animals.

Try not to fight against restrictions like this or take them personally.  Moreover, the last thing you want to do is to try and “sneak” an animal in.  We can promise that you will get caught, and it will just cause you more headaches in the end.  Remember that with a little perseverance (as long as you don’t own an unreasonable amount of animals), you will almost always be able to find the right rental home for your situation.

Special Considerations for Pet Owners in a Rental Home

As a pet owner in a rental home, you always want to make sure that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to prevent your pet from being a nuisance to the community.  This could mean anything from noise control to picking up waste after a walk around the block.  Whatever you do, just remember to be courteous to your neighbors.  It will save you tons of trouble in the long run.

Some other things to keep in mind include:

  • There are often additional financial responsibilities associated with renting with pets. You may have to pay a higher monthly rent, an additional pet deposit, and even sometimes a non-refundable pet fee, in additional to the security deposit that is paid by all other renters.
  • Your landlord or apartment manager may ask you for updated records on your pet. This could include medical records, vaccine information, or any licensing requirements that are specific to your local area.
  • It’s entirely possible that your future landlord will ask to “interview” your pet before agreeing to let you live there. This has become more and more commonplace, so be prepared for them to ask.
  • In some instances, the landlord may ask you to invest in a renter’s insurance policy. In addition to covering any damage to the property, this will protect both you and the landlord in the event that your pet bites someone while on the premises.

Real estate is a huge investment, so it’s easy to understand why landlords and apartment managers work so diligently to protect their properties.  That doesn’t mean that you will be stuck with no place to go, however.  Although it may require a bit more effort on your part, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect home for you and your furry sidekick.

Featured Photo Credit: kastner via Compfight cc