Posted Nov 14, 2014
How to Find a Pet-Friendly Rental
Apartment hunting with your cat or dog is never an easy process. Many landlords are strict when it comes to letting furry creatures in their apartments–but pet-friendly rentals are out there! Renting with pets is all about conducting a targeted search and putting your best foot (and paw!) forward.
Offer to Pay a Pet Deposit
You’ve probably already noticed that a great deal of home rental listings don’t bother to advertise whether or not they are pro-pet. Why? For the most part, these landlords haven’t been convinced one way or the other to include or exclude tenants with pets. Fortunately for you, there is something you can do to help guide them in the right direction: offer to pay a pet deposit.
It works just like the usual rental deposit, except that the money is designated to fixing any pet-related damage to the property. Offering to pay a pet’s damage deposit up front can show a potential landlord that you are serious about taking care of the property. It also eases his or her mind about whether your dogs, cats or gerbils will harm the rental.
Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve need a rental property that accepted pets. If it’s not, get in touch with your ex-landlords and ask for a good reference letter! Not only is this a good way to endear you to prospective landlords in general, but it’s a fantastic way to increase your chances of finding a Fluffy-friendly rental. Like the offer of a pet deposit, a glowing reference that praises you as an ideal tenant with or without pets will make property managers sit up and take notice.
If you don’t have any rental-related references, look for them elsewhere. Can your veterinarian offer a good reference for your pet, extolling his virtues as a calm, intelligent and non-destructive creature? If so, add it to your applications. After all, when the listings aren’t exactly plentiful, it’s often possible to negotiate with a non-pet-friendly owner about moving in with a well-behaved puppy dog or kitty cat.
Try to keep a nice photo of your pet with any references you obtain, so that the property manager can see it. It’s much easier to sell a clean, adorable, calm-looking pet in a photo than it is to sell the vague idea of some random animal.
Ask the Experts
If you’re still having trouble finding the right rental home for you and your furry friends, get in touch with the local Humane Society or no-kill shelter, and have a chat with the staff. After all, shelter staff almost certainly have pets–so find out which ones are renters.
Talking to local pet owners can reveal a veritable gold mine of useful information about pet-friendly residences in the area, or tips on how to reach a compromise with the landlord or management staff. Some facilities even allow you to post a message in their shelter or store, in case property owners have the right rental for you.
Not sure who to ask? There are several options, including local veterinarians, vet technicians, shelter workers, rescue workers, and your own friends. Know someone with pets, who is renting? Get in touch with her property manager–there may be more pet-friendly properties owned by the same landlord.
What’s the Secret to Finding Pet-Friendly Rentals?
Sometimes, the secret to finding the perfect rental for you and your pets is plain old patience. Chances are the perfect home won’t be there the first time (or the second) you browse the listings. So take your time, think more about exactly what you need and decide on which compromises you are willing to make.
Have any great tips for finding a pet-friendly rental home? We want to hear them! Tag us @Lovely on Twitter and share your advice with other renters.
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