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Tips for finding Pet Friendly Rentals

So, you want to find the perfect place for you and your furry buddy. Whether you're a cat owner, a dog lover or have a pet that's a little more exotic, you'll want to set aside some time to find pet-friendly rental housing.

Pet owners might find the rental process to be frustrating--so many homes and apartment buildings forbid pets! Those that don't sometimes charge pricey pet fees - and they're usually nonrefundable to boot. Other buildings might outlaw certain large breeds, barring your beloved bull mastiff while allowing in a miniature poodle. However, finding the right rental housing for you and Fido or Fluffy is possible. Check out these tips for finding pet-friendly rentals:

Know that it will take longer: Finding suitable and pet-friendly rental housing might take longer than usual, so pet owners should give themselves plenty of time to hunt. Don't put yourself in a situation where you have to move immediately while finding a place that allows your pet at the same time, if you can avoid it. Start talking with agents, checking rental management company listings or reading the classifieds in search of pet-friendly accommodations about six weeks before your current lease ends.

Keep in mind why rental places don't allow pets:

Although it may be hard to imagine your pet causing problems, as a pet owner you should realize why a landlord or property manager might prohibit pets. Carpets, hardwood flooring, curtains, furniture and paint jobs can all get ruined by pets. In addition, in shared living spaces like apartment complexes or homes, landlords might worry about how they'll deal with conflicts over a noisy, barking dog or other pet issues, like waste. Knowing why rental places often prohibit pets will allow you to sell yourself as a responsible pet owner.

Don't try to beat no-pets' policies:

When it comes to communities and complexes that don't allow pets, you shouldn't bother filling out an application - and you should especially avoid paying an application fees or deposits. Check the eligibility requirements and rule out apartment complexes or rental units that don't allow pets. You also shouldn't try to sneak your pet in to an apartment if it's against the rules: you could be exposed to hefty fines, a written violation and maybe even eviction in the strictest communities.

Know the right places to look: Browse online resources that promote pet-friendly rental housing instead of wasting time finding out if each place allows pets individually. Agencies or rental companies may also be able to help, as well as other pet owners you may know in the area.

Prove yourself as a responsible pet owner: If you come across a landlord who is on the fence about pets, you can prove you are a responsible pet owner by providing references from past landlords and up-to-date veterinary records. Also, let a prospective landlord know that your pet is house-trained and that you will clean up after them in common areas. Emphasizing this point off the bat could alleviate reasonable concerns.

pet friendly rentals

Offer to show off your pet: Let landlords know they can meet your pet if they want to make a decision, and make sure your pet looks his/her best on the agreed-upon meeting date. This can demonstrate to a landlord that your pet is well-behaved and well-trained, is clean and if it is spayed and neutered. Pets that have been spayed and neutered are often calmer, so consider whether this might be a good choice for your pet in shared rental housing.

Know it might cost more: As a pet owner, you should be willing to pay some additional fees. After all, if you're keeping in mind our earlier tips, you know it's reasonable for landlords to want protection from property damage caused by your pet.

Have a pet clause in your lease: If it's not already part of it, ask your landlord for a pet addendum to your lease that governs your rights and responsibilities - and that of your furry friend!


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