Tenant Tips: Renting with Pets
I remember trying to find a rental that would accept me and my dog. I was right out of college and didn’t realize having a dog, a pit bull at that, would put me at such a disadvantage trying to find a place to stay. The worst part is that it had nothing to do with my finances! I could AFFORD the units I was finding. It’s just that most of the management companies had strict “no dog'' or “no aggressive breed” policies. It was exhausting.
Finding a rental that accepts pets can be extremely difficult. Especially, if you have a larger or more exotic animal friend. Here are my suggestions for renting with pets (no matter if you already have one or hope to get one in the future).
7 Things to Keep in Mind
- Check your state laws in regards to how property managers should be differentiating between pets, emotional support animals and service animals.*
- BE HONEST ABOUT THE ANIMAL YOU HAVE. It will do you no good to lie. In many cases that lie in of itself can be grounds for eviction.
- Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and you have up-to-date copies of that paperwork.
- If there is a pet policy listed on the rental ad, be sure to call and confirm. Sometimes, especially with smaller landlords, exceptions can be made based on your application.
- If there is no pet policy listed, call first and confirm if your pet would be considered. It does not make sense to waste your money paying for an application or waste your time touring a unit that is going to deny you regardless.
- If your animal is accepted, negotiate the terms of the monthly pet rent and additional pet deposit (if applicable) before you sign the lease. Make sure the space is still within your budget!
- If negotiations go well, move in and make sure your animal friend is abiding by all the terms set forth in your lease (no noise issues, no excessive damage, no new babies, etc.).
About Pet Deposits
People often get confused when it comes to pet deposits vs pet fees. In actuality, they are completely different.
A pet deposit is a one-time charge. It is fully refundable given that there’s no damage caused to the rental property by your pet.
On the other hand, a pet fee is non-refundable. It may also end up being a be a one-time payment or even a monthly fee like your actual rent.
Every state has different laws about pet payments, so it depends on where you live. Whatever the pet deposit and fee charges are, they will be specified in your pet agreement or lease contract.
Although you cannot guarantee which rentals will or will not accept your application, this guide should help you give your absolute best shot! Are there any other suggestions you would add to this list? Let us know!
Are You Looking for a Pet-Friendly Space for You and Your Furry Friend?
There are pet-friendly rental units out there, so don't give up. If you are looking to rent a pet-friendly space, check what’s available by using the filters on Dwellsy. You will find many options, and you can shortlist the ones that best meet your requirements and expectations.
*Because states vary drastically in their approach to pets and service animals, this article will only focus on how to deal with pets.
If you’re looking for more renter-relevant content, check out our other informative blog posts here.
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