More than 84 million families have pets today, but when it comes to renting with pets, finding a place to live can sometimes be tricky.
Here are tips to help you and your furry family members find and succeed in pet-friendly housing.
1. Ask around. Talk with friends and family to find places they may know that welcome pets in rental units.
2. Check out renter resources in your community. Often, local organizations or individuals may publish lists of pet-friendly places that might help in your search.
3. Keep your options open. Your community might have one or more large rental communities that have pet-friendly policies and amenities. But if it doesn’t, another option is to go small. Look for a “for rent by owner” option where you can get to know the owner and explain your commitment to being responsible when renting with pets.
4. Develop a pet resume that shows why your pet or pets would be a positive addition to the housing community. You’ll want to describe their personality, daily activities and any training they’ve completed to help ensure good behavior. See sample PDFs here, here and here.
5. Be ready to talk about responsible pet ownership when renting with pets. For example, you can explain your commitment to things like keeping dogs leashed and cleaning up pet waste, and how you will make sure your pet’s behavior doesn’t interfere with other tenants.
6. Keep in mind that you may have to pay an additional fee to have your pet in a rental unit. You also will probably need to maintain a renters insurance policy that includes pet considerations.
7. Be honest – don’t try to sneak a pet into a rental that is not pet friendly. You could be faced with eviction, a bad referral or other ramifications.
8. Once you find a pet-friendly place to live, make sure you have the pet agreement in writing. This should make it clear what the rules are, what fees are associated with having a pet onsite and what the process is for escalating any issues that occur.
Want more info? Check out Trait 4 in the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities (PDF) for more about the importance of pet-friendly housing options for all families.