When looking for a rental home, there are plenty of things to consider. It needs to have a certain number of bedrooms, or you prefer a large kitchen. Location and price are usually really big deciding factors. But what about your pet?
Something like 90 percent of Americans consider their pets to be part of the family, so it’s understandable that they absolutely need to find a pet-friendly home. Unfortunately, finding pet-friendly rentals isn’t always the easiest.
So what can you do to make your property search a little easier? Read on to find out!
Utilize Online Searches
Thanks to sites like Trulia, Craigslist, Zillow, and Apartments.com, you can search online for rentals in your area, which is already pretty convenient. But on top of that, these sites give you the ability to filter the results to only show pet-friendly rentals. This way, you won’t fall in love with a place, only to find out later that they don’t allow pets.
Check With Private Landlords
Professionally managed properties aren’t going to have any give in their no-pet policies, and there’s likely zero chance that you’ll talk your way into bringing a pet along. Private landlords are easier to convince. In the event that you find a private landlord that doesn’t advertise as pet-friendly, you might be able to negotiate with them in an effort to convince them to allow your pet.
Offer to Pay a Pet Deposit
If you’re trying to convince a potential landlord to allow your pet, offer to pay them a pet deposit when you sign your lease. This separate security deposit might help a hesitant landlord feel better about opening the doors to your pet, and it also shows that you are confident in your pet’s behavior.
Make a ‘Pet Resume’
Finding a rental in a competitive market can sometimes seem harder than trying to land a job. When you’re trying to land a pet-friendly place, not only do you have to sell yourself, but now you have to sell your pet as well. Make yourself stand out from the pack with your very own ‘pet resume’ for your furry companion.
Make sure you detail your pet’s age, breed, size, certifications, medical information, and vaccine records in their resume. It’s also a good idea to put together a few references from former landlords, obedience trainers, or dog walkers. See if they don’t mind also writing a letter of recommendation that you can show to prospective landlords.
Learn the Law
There are certain laws that might protect you in the event that you need it. When a lease does not have any specific mentions of pet policies, it defaults to local law.
For instance, there is a New York City law that states that renters can keep their pets as long as they’ve been living unconcealed for more than three months, and no lawsuits have been filed during that time. That means that a landlord would not be able to wait months to tell you that your pet isn’t allowed.
If your pet is an emotional support animal, you could also be protected under the Fair Housing Act. Landlords who forbid support animals from moving in could risk discrimination charges.