Even though approximately 67% of American households own a pet, finding a pet-friendly rental apartment can be a challenge. As it turns out, many landlords fear that pets may be loud or undisciplined and damage property. They may even have bad experiences to confirm this opinion, causing them to be firmly against allowing animals in their flats.
Yet, of course, you can’t leave your furry friend behind when you decide to move. But what can you do? How do you make sure the whole experience of renting with your pet doesn’t turn into a nightmare? Well, we have a few tips to help you out.
Use All Available Resources When Searching for a Flat
Information has never been quite as easy to find as it is now — just search for whatever you need online. You’ll find plenty of rental websites with filters that will come in handy when looking for pet-friendly flats. That will considerably narrow down your search, and you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect place for you and your furry friend.
But the internet isn’t the only resource you can use. You could, for instance, contact your local humane society or animal care agency. These organizations usually have a list of pet-friendly apartments, and they may be willing to provide you with one. That’s bound to nudge you in the right direction.
In addition, you may contact other pet owners that you know and ask them for recommendations. Some may have gone through a similar experience when moving, so they might be able to give you some directions. Whether it’s telling you which neighborhoods tend to be more pet-friendly or what resources to consult, any help is surely welcome!
Finally, if you have decided on the area where you’d like to live, visit it and look for community apartment guide books or local newspapers. Those may give you some additional insight into the rules and restrictions of the community. You could also simply call the apartment owner and ask them whether they allow pets in their flat — that’s the most straightforward way to go about it.
Take Your Time
Of course, you might find a perfect flat for you and your furry friend in a matter of minutes. But such a scenario is extremely unlikely, and usually, the whole process takes days. Don’t despair, though — pet-friendly apartments are out there somewhere, and it’s only a matter of time before you stumble upon the perfect one.
But to avoid unnecessary stress and worry, make sure to give yourself enough time to find a flat. Don’t wait until the lease in your old apartment expires to start searching; that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, begin browsing websites and looking up ads as soon as you decide to move. That way, you’ll have enough time to find just the kind of place you always dreamed of.
Prove to the Landlord That You Are Responsible
If a landlord doesn’t allow pets in their flat, there’s usually a good reason for it. For example, they may have had a few bad experiences in the past. Letting an animal live in your apartment is always a little risky — they could damage the furniture or property, make too much noise, or even be aggressive towards other members of the community. It’s no wonder that many landlords choose to avoid all these unpleasant scenarios.
Yet sometimes, you might come across landlords that haven’t listed their apartment as pet-friendly but are open to the idea. In such a case, you may sway them to your side if you prove you’re a responsible pet owner — not someone who will just let their pet do as it pleases.
So, how do you do that? Well, if you are currently renting a flat, ask your landlord for a letter of recommendation, proving that your pet never caused any issues. If your dog completed some training class or is currently enrolled in one, provide certificates. Your vet could prove of great help as well — they could give your future landlord a confirmation that your pet was spayed or neutered and vaccinated. When the potential landlord sees how much time and care you put into your pet, they might be persuaded.
And, of course, make sure to actually demonstrate that you are responsible. Once you move in, don’t just relax and allow your pet total freedom. Make sure to teach your kitten to use a litterbox and to take your dog for routine walks and clean up after it.
Be Ready to Pay Extra
Whether you like it or not, pet-friendly flats always come with a higher rent. As we’ve said, landlords often feel like they’re running a risk allowing pets in their apartments, so they want to be compensated accordingly. So don’t get frustrated — put yourself in their shoes and be ready to pay some more.
Naturally, you don’t have to accept this state of things. But you’ll find it rather difficult to come across a pet-friendly flat with the same rent as those that don’t allow pets. In fact, it might be more trouble than it’s worth in the end. So it’s often best to pay slightly more and ensure that both you and your pet are comfortable. If you have a disability or need emotional support, an ESA may be the right choice as pet fee exemptions are required to prevent you from being separated from your furry friend.
Never Try to Sneak Your Pet in
If the flat you fell in love with is in a no-pet zone, you might be tempted to sneak your pet in anyway. But let us tell you right away — that’s a terrible idea. No matter how well you hide your furry friend, your landlord might discover it. And then, you could face eviction or even some kind of legal action.
Finding a perfect place to rent is difficult when you’re on your own, but even more so if you have a pet. Still, it’s not impossible — millions of people across the country do it. All you need is some time and a plan, and you’ll be sure to find just what you’re looking for. Then, both you and your furry friend can finally start fresh in a new place!