How To Find Pet Friendly Apartments For You And Your Pooch

How To Find Pet Friendly Apartments For You And Your Pooch

Written By Meredith Kavanagh

May 24, 2016

Looking for an apartment or house to rent is a daunting task. There are so many variables! We all have our own list of priorities, like parking availability or laundry facilities, but finding a place to live with your fur baby is even more difficult.

And if you’re already living in your perfect home, but your rental isn’t pet-friendly, then you have a whole new task ahead of you: convincing your landlord to let you have a dog. If you need to learn about your rights and options for pet friendly apartments, then read on!

Find Pet Friendly Apartments 

If you’re moving, it may seem like owning a dog is just one more hurdle to finding your perfect pad, but it’s actually a good situation! According to the Humane Society, 72% of American renters own pets, which means that a whole bunch of landlords have already accepted the truth that most renters with pets don’t cause any more damage than renters without pets. (Seriously, compare a family of four and their gentle, giant Great Dane to an apartment full of frat bros. Who do you think will make a bigger mess?)

This means it may be easier to find a pet-friendly rental than convincing your current landlord to update your lease to include a pet addendum. Each case will be different, but if you’re looking for a new home that allows pets, keep these tips in mind:

Tips To Find Pet Friendly Apartments

  • Give yourself more time to apartment hunt. Owning a pet eliminates a number of housing options right off the bat. Keep in mind that some apartment complexes may have rules against dogs by breed or size. (As unfair as this is, it’s true, so make sure you know the specifics before signing a lease.)
  • Call local animal shelters or rescue groups for suggestions. They usually have a good sense of nearby dog-friendly housing.
  • Use the good ‘ol internet. There are so many rental websites and apps nowadays that you can use to limit your search by exact square footage, proximity to public transportation, and of course — whether dogs are allowed!

How To Write A Pet Resume

Yes, we’re serious! Many landlords ask for a canine CV to learn a bit about your pooch before deciding whether or not they want you to rent their property. This can be a sensitive topic for certain dog breed owners who feel their pup is discriminated against, but it can actually counteract those mistaken beliefs and help to introduce your pet as an individual.

Pet resumes can provide your landlord with reassurance that your pup is as awesome as you believe they are. Provide your pup’s resume as an act of good faith, even if it isn’t requested.

Information on a pup's resume can include:

  • Pet's name
  • Age, breed, weight
  • Certification from training courses or obedience school
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • Disclosure of any incidents
  • Current photo
  • Veterinary contact information
  • Previous landlord contact info to vouch for your fur baby

I Love My House, But It Doesn’t Allow Pets

If you are in the precarious position of wanting to adopt or buy a pooch, but your current home isn’t pet-friendly, then you need to change your approach. Instead of viewing your landlord as a soulless monster who hates animals, think about it from their point of view. Pets can come with a number of unwanted risks and baggage, like poop on the grass, disruptive barking, late-night howling, scratched walls, or urine-soaked carpets. Just because you know that Mr. Taco hasn’t had a potty accident in three years doesn’t mean that your landlord knows.

If you think of the risk that your landlord is facing, then it makes a bit more sense why they may charge a pet owner’s fee, ask for references, or limit which types of pets they allow. If you’re looking to add a dog to your family, make sure to go over the rules and options with your landlord first. Once you know where they’re coming from, it will be easier to inform them why your pet will not be a problem.

Hiding A Dog From Your Landlord Is A No-No

Just because you see your neighbors walking a dog doesn’t mean that you can have one, too. They may have a pet addendum on their lease, or maybe they’re related to the property owner.

Housing problems are one of the main reasons that pets end up in shelters, and as much as you want to rescue a pup on a whim, it’s more important to be responsible and not promise a home to an animal you can’t keep. Don’t count on your charm to persuade your landlord to allow pets. Instead, face the issue head-on and open a mature dialogue.

Remember, when you’re dealing with any landlord-tenant issues, there is lots of fine print you may not know about. If you are serious about bringing a pet into your home, your lease may have a loophole. Or, if your lease doesn’t say “no pets allowed,” but your landlord argues with you, you may have the legal right to bring a pet home.

Whenever you’re dealing with a sticky situation that could end up with you or your pup without a home, make sure to seek help from a legal professional before doing anything.

Visit the US Humane Society for more information on your legal rights on pets in rental housing.