Pets are family. Wherever you go, they go. However, as a pet owner, you might be having some trouble locating a house that allows pets. You are not alone. In fact, it’s a global problem. The American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey showed that Americans own approximately 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats. That means almost 50% of home owners at least one dog, and 45% have at least one cat. Millions of the pet owners live on rented property. Almost half of the UK population owns a pet. By 2016, 1 in every 5 homes there will be privately rented. The demand for pet-friendly apartment has shot up all around the world.
Housing problems are one of the main reasons why pets are being given up to shelters. There are a number of challenges that people face when letting a house with pets. Perhaps the owner of a property you want to move into does not allow pets. Alternatively, they may be allowed, but you’re charged to keep them. Sometimes the owner doesn’t mind you having one, but the conditions in the apartment and neighbourhood aren’t conducive for keeping a pet.
Regardless, you shouldn’t have to give up your furry friend in your search for good housing. Leaving your pet behind should never be an option for you. You just have to find a rental property that is friendly to pets. Here are 5 tips to help you find a place that’s affordable and comfortable for you and your pet.
How to Secure a Good Rental with a Pet
It may seem obvious, but most people don’t do it. You shouldn’t assume that you’re allowed to keep pets because you see other pets on the property. You should be conversant with all the pet rules, in order to know the options that will b available to you in future. Ensure you understand the terms of the lease. The lease should indicate that you may have a pet. Alternatively, check that it doesn’t say “no pets allowed”. Don’t just take anyone’s word for it. Ensure that all the terms (such as pet deposits or monthly fees) are indicated in the lease.
- Impress your potential landlord
Put your pet’s best foot, or rather paw, forward. Landlords are apprehensive about pets for many reasons. For instance, your pet may disturb the other tenants. Pets also have a track record o damaging property – chewing of cabinet corners, clawing at window sills, screens and doors and even gnawing at the vinyl flooring. The property owner is concerned about having to keep making repairs, and to deal with the other tenants making complaints. You can see why landlords don’t really look forward to the furry tenants.
So do your bit in convincing the landlord that your pet is a delight. How? For starters, your veterinarian can give you a letter showing that your pet has been vaccinated and neutered/sprayed. You can provide proof that your dog has completed its training classes. You can even get a referral from your previous landlord. Introduce your pet to the property owner. Prepare pet references that the landlord can use to confirm the pet’s age and temperament issues. The goal is to make the owner feel confident about renting out the property to you.
- Don’t be rigid, be flexible
Large pets come with bigger requirements. Understand that you may have to pay a pet deposit and an extra amount for insurance that caters for your pet’s breed. For instance, rates for pooches may be different from large dogs.
- Have a trial period
In case the property owner is on the fence about giving you the property, propose a short term trial period. They can use the time to assess how well your pet does on the property. However, you should have this in writing. Changes to the lease and agreement can be made as required.
- Show that you are a responsible pet owner
Make some effort to show that you are a caring tenant and pet owner. Commit to clean after your pet. Most likely the property owner doesn’t want to be forced to remove all the traces of your pet’s presence after you’ve left. Keep the records of your pet’s paperwork- such as vet receipts and medication documents and certificates. You can even regularly share them with your property manager to keep their minds at ease about the health and status of your pet.
Finally, get all the information about a potential residency before you move into it. You should note that there may be strata and communal laws that affect animals on a property.