Not many landlords allow pets; they are just too much of a liability to their properties. Therefore, when you have finally found one, count your blessings and do everything in your power to endear yourself to your landlord and get you two moving into your new place.
But that’s only half of a job. Just because your pet is permitted in a rental property does not give you carte blanche to do anything you want. Follow the rules below to be a nice renter with a pet and neighbor, and have a better chance of getting your security deposit refunded.
Stay up to date on vaccines, licenses, and tags
If necessary, locate a new vet as soon as you move so that your pet’s treatment is never disrupted. Even if your pet will not be interacting with other animals during your tenancy, they must have all of their vaccinations and any locally needed permits or tags.
Give your pet plenty of exercise and attention
Pets with excess energy frequently engage in undesirable behaviors such as over-excitement, barking, and property destruction. Making sure your pet has everything they need is part of being a good pet parent—and a good tenant as well. So, if you’re going to be gone for most of the day, have a walker or sitter check-in, and always make sure your pet is receiving enough love and exercise to be well-behaved in your apartment.
Keep your dog leashed when outside
Other renters may have pets of their own or be afraid of animals, so keep your dog leashed when they’re outside. When you’re not in a designated off-leash area, this is the regulation regardless, and it helps guarantee that you’re being a good neighbor.
Clean up after your pet
Nothing incites resentment among neighbors like dog excrement left on the ground. Keep a waste bag holder on your dog’s leash so you always have bags available, and clean up after your dog immediately away rather than later.
If you’re thinking about having an animal, or if you have a friend or significant other who has a pet and could move in with you in the future, be sure to ask about the pet regulations right away so you know what alternatives you have in the future.
The landlord will find out whether you have a pet or if you have more than you told them, so come clean right immediately. That way, you won’t have to deal with an eviction notice, a poor referral, or any other legal consequences for attempting to keep it quiet.
Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve been requested several times to provide written references for my kitties from prior landlords and neighbors. You should also have a note from your veterinarian confirming that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Also, if your dog has attended training sessions, bring that proof with you. If you have a previous landlord who says your animal did not cause any property damage and the neighbors gave them the thumbs up, you’ll be golden nine times out of ten.
Propose a trial period
If the landlord is on the fence about it, you might be able to push them over the edge by offering a brief trial period during which they can watch how the animal is doing in the area and then re-negotiate your lease.
Get it in writing
When signing your lease, you may be required to pay an additional fee and provide a pet security deposit. Just make sure that all of the stipulations that were discussed and agreed upon about your pet are properly written down before signing.
According to statistics, 57% of US families have at least one pet, implying that you are only one renter with a pet among the millions in the US. Knowing what to expect from pet rules at your new rental is critical, and will go a long way toward ensuring a positive tenancy for both of you. If you are looking for a good place to move into that is warm and welcoming to your non-human companion, take a look at our list of pet-friendly rental offers right here.