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Last updated: July 9, 2021 • Lifestyle

Finding a Pet-Friendly Rental

Those of us with pets know one thing for sure: keeping our animal companions happy is priority number one. Whether we keep a stoic tortoise, an affectionate pup or an austere cat, their happiness and well-being is one of the most important aspects of our lives. They’re always there for us, and we’re always there for them. 

When a pet owner is trying to find a rental, keeping our pets happy and well cared for can be something of a challenge. While we can appreciate how important these animal companions are, there are plenty of landlords who aren’t quite as understanding, and just as many apartments that aren’t designed with pets in mind. 

If you’re moving to a new city with your animal companion, finding a pet-friendly rental can be a daunting task. At times, it might appear that there isn’t a single place that might accommodate you. But don’t despair; pet-friendly rentals do exist, and we’re going to help you find one. In this article we’ll be telling you all you need to do in order to find a place that both you and your animal companion can feel at home in. Let’s begin! 

Don’t keep your pet a secret

Stealth catto

Before we delve into the subject of what makes an apartment pet friendly, we’ve got to make one thing clear: it’s never a good idea to refrain from telling prospective landlords about your pet. Whether they explicitly tell you that pets aren’t allowed or don’t elaborate on the topic, you should always be sure you know where prospective landlords stand on pets. 

When meeting or contacting apartment owners or landlords, be upfront about your animal companion. It should be one of the first things you mention in your verbal or virtual communication, and should not be left up to chance. Simply ask them whether or not pets are allowed; if the answer is no, move on to the next option. 

Bringing a pet into a rented apartment without the landlord’s knowledge or consent can lead to a host of unpleasant events. You may face complaints from neighbors, difficulties with the authorities, or even summary eviction without notice. Residence contracts are serious business, so don’t take them lightly. 

What makes an apartment pet-friendly?

A cute kitty and adorable doggo hanging out

Before you jump into the task of finding an apartment that can accommodate you and your pet, you may want to consider your criteria that will determine whether or not an apartment is pet friendly. There are a few general factors that you’ll want to take into consideration, but there may also be additional requirements depending on what kind of pet you have

While we won’t be going into excruciating detail with this article, we’re going to try to touch on as many relevant factors as possible, so you have a good idea of what to expect when looking for a pet friendly rental. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure that everything is in order before you choose your new apartment, or else you’re probably going to have a bad time. With that said, let’s get into it! 

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A receptive landlord

Landlord welcoming happy new tenants

As we discussed earlier, the most important thing to take into consideration when looking for a pet friendly apartment is the landlord’s attitude towards pets. If the landlord is hostile to the idea of you living there with a pet, then you’re best off looking for a different place to live. It doesn’t matter how great of a deal the place is; if the landlord doesn’t accept pets, it’s a no-go. 

This isn’t to say that some landlords can’t be swayed; if you’ve got a silver tongue and a docile pet, you might just be able to get the landlord to come around on the idea of you being their new tenant. In situations like these, it always helps if you can demonstrate that your pet isn’t going to be a nuisance to neighbors and won’t damage the property.

Regardless whether they’re flexible on the issue or not, it’s never a good idea to get too attached to an apartment before you know for sure that it’s the place for you. It’s ok to test the waters when you’re trying to suss out whether or not the landlord will budge on letting you live there with pet’s but don’t push too hard. If it’s a hard no, just move on.   

Pet-proof apartment features

Kitty is gonna scratch the couch

Another important thing to look for when considering apartments for you and your animal companion are pet friendly features. While some pets may require less consideration in this area than others, it’s definitely a good idea to make sure that the apartment will be able to withstand whatever your pet throws at it. 

If you have a dog, for example, you may want to avoid rentals that have large carpeted areas. Dogs are great, but they have a tendency to soil and slobber on just about everything, and when they shed their coats things can get messy very quickly. If you aren’t able to find a place that meets these requirements, be ready to spend a lot of time vacuuming. 

Cats can also present some difficulties, primarily their tendency to scratch furniture. If you move to a new rental, be sure that your kitty has a scratching pole. Most cats shed their coats seasonally, so be prepared for that as well. Lastly, make sure that your cat is litter-box trained, and that you have the time to regularly clean their litter. Other pets present other difficulties, so just keep their needs in mind as well as your own. 

Easy-going neighbors

Friendly neighbors chillin' by the fence

Lastly, you’ll want to scope out your potential neighbors. If you’ve cleared your pet with your prospective landlord, you’ll need to make sure your neighbors aren’t going to put up a fuss about your pet and their behavior. While it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure your pet doesn’t bother the neighbors, it’s always nice to have neighbors that will cut you some slack. 

It’s important not to be excessively nosey when vetting your new neighbors, lest you cross boundaries of personal space and privacy. Keeping this in mind, there are still plenty of ways you can get a good idea of what kind of neighbors you’re going to have without violating anyone’s privacy or personal space. 

Start with your prospective landlord, and ask them what kind of people live in the adjacent apartments or properties. They’ll likely be more than happy to tell you all about the neighbors, and how to best avoid having problems with them. After a short chat, you should have a much better idea of what to expect, and whether or not this is the place for you. 

A rental for you

Why is she holding her keys like that? We don't know either

When you’re trying to find a rental to accommodate you and your pet, it’s easy to forget about yourself. You might get so caught up in trying to find a place that your pet will like that you forget that you’ll be living there too. You have to keep in mind that you’ll be living in your new rental too, not just your pet. 

Look for rentals that make you happy, not just your furry friend or friends. Look for the things you like in an apartment, and don’t just go for the first rental that will accommodate your pet comfortably. Think about your job, your comfort, and your health before you sign any leases; at the end of the day, it’s a place for both of you! 

Conclusion 

Finding a pet-friendly rental can be tough, especially if you’re new in town and you don’t know anyone. The process of contacting landlords, seeing apartments and browsing through possible can be highly fatiguing if you aren’t good at managing your stress levels. Take heart in the fact that, with enough effort, you’ll be able to find a place that suits you. 
If you’re having a particularly difficult time, why not use real estate agents that specialize in rent? Find a real estate agent in your area and have them search for you. Before you know it, you might be living in the rental of your dreams. Just give them a call and see what’s on the market; you won’t regret it, we promise!

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