|Posted by tlhsny on April 24, 2009 at 6:21 PM|
Attempting to find a rental apartment or house that allows pets can be very difficult. A lot of landlords have been burnt by irresponsible pet owners who have left their rentals damaged. However, due to the vacancy rates rising, many landlords are struggling to fill their rental units. They are more likely to say "yes" to a pet now more than ever.
Here are 10 tips to prove your case to a landlord, so you will be able to rent and keep your pet:
1. Be a good pet owner. Before you apply for an apartment or house, ask yourself some simple questions. Do you know how to keep your cat from spraying indoors? What will you do to keep your dog from barking and carrying on when you're not home? Contact your local animal shelter, veterinarian or local training club for information. There is also a wealth of information on the internet. It's your job to provide the proper care, training, attention and exercise for your pet.
2. Be sympathetic to the landlord's concerns. There may be many reasons as to why a landlord does not permit pets in their rental units. It is best to discuss them with the landlord and be understanding.
3. Narrow your search. If you are using an online apartment listing search, check off the box that says "dog" or "cat". This will help you find pet friendly apartments easier.
4. Ask the landlord anyway. Even if a rental listing states that certain pets are not allowed, some landlords will negotiate with you. They may get testy, but this will clue them in on the demand for people with pets in need of housing, and it could nudge them in the direction of allowing pets in the future. A great way to convince a potential landlord, is to set up a meeting with the pet. Encourage the landlord to bring a list of questions or concerns they have about your pet. Be prepared for the meeting, and have your pet under control and nicely groomed. If you prove yourself to be a responsible pet owner, the landlord will also consider you a responsible tenant.
5. Put together a resume for your pet. This shows the landlord that you are serious about renting, and that you have your act together. This is a great way to show just how responsible you are with your pet.
Include the following in your pet's resume:
- Veterinary documents. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on its shots. Having your pet spayed or neutered is also a plus, as this will help to eliminate a lot of behavioral issues.
- A description of your prevention plan for fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, etc.
- An explanation of what your pet does all day. Is he/she crated while you are gone, or left to roam freely? Does your pet get lonely? Do you have a dog walker that will be visiting to take your dog out? Do you provide your cat with toys, beds and scratching posts? Are you good about cleaning up spills and messes?
- Bring along any training class graduation certificates. If your dog has passed through a class or two, this will be a positive way to reassure the landlord that your dog knows the basics.
6. Bring references. Would you go to a job interview without a list of references? Make sure you get a note and contact number from your former landlords and neighbors. This can really help your landlord make their decision more favorable.
7. Offer to pay an extra deposit. Pet deposits are often required by landlords who allow pets. It helps if you can offer slightly more than what they require. Good landlords know that pet deposits, which are refundable, are the best incentive for renters to take extra good care of their rental property. If you can't pay the deposit all up front, offer to make payments.
8. Offer to buy renter's insurance. Many landlords are concerned with their liability, especially if your pet injures another tenant. If you have renter's insurance, the liability portion should cover injuries caused by your pet. Check with your insurer to find out what is covered under your policy.
9. Factor in long-term costs. Many smaller building owners don't impose non-refundable pet deposits (in some states they are illegal). They often shy away from additional pet rent, unless the tenant prefers that over an additional deposit. If the landlord plans to charge you per month for the privelege of having a pet in their rental unit, you will have to factor this into your budget. If you don't want to move within 5 years, a $50 per month pet rent totals $3,000 in 5 years. That's a lot of vet bills!
10. Be a good representative for pet-owners. Don't give wary landlords any reason to complain or not trust pet owners because of damages or messes you left behind after moving out with your pet. Clean up really well before you leave, and this will show the landlord that not all pet owners are irresponsible. Pet owners can be the best tenants to rent to.