Pets have been proven to increase life expectancy and increase quality of life. Studies show that pets can help speed the healing process and yet in the rental industry they can oftentimes feel excluded.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
It can be tough to find an apartment or rental home that allows pets, let alone large pets. Here are some guidelines that will help in your search and with your conversation during your rental interviews when it comes to the topic of pets in the rental community.
To start, let's identify some of the pet-friendly features we’ve seen available for pet owners in apartments. An apartment complex that not only allows pets, but that also includes some convenient amenities, can make life easier for everyone in the community. Here are some features to look for or to ask about when interviewing your next apartment owner:
- A dog run or similar area available nearby for the pets to safely get their exercise
- Garbage stands and/or “doggie bags” available to easily dispose of waste.
- Doggie-wash stations that provide a convenient way for you to give your pet a bath (without clogging up your drains!)
- Some townhomes will even allow you to put up a temporary fence to give your dog a safe yard
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR LANDLORD
Apartment complexes may use certain terms that you don’t understand. Don’t let them discourage you. Communities that advertise “pet restrictions” are not excluding pets all together. They may simply restrict weight or breed. Here are some questions to bring up in your rental interview:
- Is there a maximum weight restriction on pets?
- Are there certain breeds that are not allowed?
- What types of pets do you allow?
- Would you consider a “Pet Interview”? This can give your landlord an idea of how your pet is around you and strangers.
- Do you require rental insurance with pets?
- Do you require pets to be spayed/neutered and de-clawed?
Pet deposits, pet fees and pent rent are something that you will most likely encounter at some point in your rental life. Remember, it’s nothing personal. The rental owner needs to ensure that their property is going to continue to generate revenue for them long after you and your pet move out.
- A pet deposit is equivalent to the deposit you pay for a rental unit. It allows the landlord to fix up the unit when you move out. Some pets will do no damage to the place and you will get your deposit back, but on the chance that something happens everyone is covered. A pet deposit is collected up front and held by the landlord until the end of your lease and a decision can be made whether to return it or not.
- A pet fee is an extra fee the landlord may require to ensure they can rent the apartment once you have moved on. The next renter may have allergies and the pet fee allows the landlord to do a deeper cleaning with special products to make sure everyone can live comfortably. A pet fee is typically an up-front cost at the beginning of the lease and is NON-refundable.
- A pet rent is something that certain communities will add on to your monthly rent and is NON-refundable.
- Some communities will charge you a pet deposit, a pet fee and/or pet rent. Be sure to discuss this with the landlord before signing your lease.
The rental industry can seem hostile to pet owners, but in the end the landlord must watch out for their own interests the same way that you do. Rental communities that have restrictions or fees are only guaranteeing they can maintain a comfortable place for people to live. Do not get discouraged. Look closer at ads to see what pet policy may be available and ask questions to get the full story. Restrictions are not always exclusions.
To find out a perfect pet-friendly rental, search our properties now. We are confident you and your pet can find a great place to live.