Every year, more apartment complexes and condominium communities are allowing residents to have pets. Although apartments within these pet-friendly communities represent a small percentage of the available inventory across the country, pet owners are willing to line up for them and wait, if necessary, until one becomes available — a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by apartment owners with a “no pet” policy who continually need to fill vacancies.
Take a look at the following tips to ensure the rental process is as hassle-free as possible when you have a pet:
Be Upfront About Having a Pet
Think you can hide the fact that you have three cats or a big German Shepherd? You won’t be able to for long, and it could get you evicted. Ask about pets right away.
Choose a Place That Is the Right Size for Your Pet
A potential rental property may accept pets, but it might be too small for your dog. Why limit your big pooch to a tiny apartment? Think of your animals when you look at the available space.
Know What Kind of Pet You Can Have, as Well as How Many
Some landlords specify that they will only take cats or small creatures. Others are broader in their acceptance. Many have a limit as to how many of each kind of pet they want on their properties. Be sure it’s spelled out in your lease.
Expect to Pay Extra
Landlords usually require an extra deposit if you have a pet, or they may increase your monthly rent because you own a dog, cat, etc. Why? They’re simply protecting their assets. Pets can be damaging to an apartment, and the extra fee can be used for clean-up when you leave.
Get Your Dog Obedience Training
You’re more likely to snag an apartment if you can prove that your dog has been through obedience training. Have the paperwork ready so you can show you’re a responsible pet owner.
Pet Policy for Renters
Most people love animals and appreciate the neighborhood feeling that comes with having them around. If a good policy is in place, pets can make a community more attractive to prospective renters and maintain harmony among its residents, proving people and pets can live happily together.
A good pet policy for renters focuses on responsible pet ownership, with rules designed to protect residents and property. Here is a sampling of requirements you may encounter:
- Number of Pets: Policies may limit renters to two pets — either dog or cat — and can be in any combination, so it’s important to list every pet you will bring with you. If you don’t have a pet when you move in, you will need to get approval from your landlord and sign an updated lease if you decide to get one. Pets may also need to have their pictures taken.
- Pet Deposit: Landlords usually collect a non-refundable deposit for each pet to cover any damage to the apartment, as well as an additional fee — typically between $20 to $40 — per pet added to the monthly rent.
- Dog Breed: Some breeds are known to be more aggressive than others, and often don’t function well within a community setting. Dog breeds often included on the list of “banned” breeds include Rottweilers, Doberman Pincers, Pit Bull, Bull Terriers, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow-Chows, Mastiffs and Dog-Wolf mixes.
- Pet Documentation: You might need to provide a document from your veterinarian that shows proof of your dog’s breed and confirms their vaccinations are up to date. Most pet policies will require proof your pet is registered with the town or county. They may require your dog to wear a tag, as well.
- Responsible Pet Care: Owners must understand and act on their pet’s needs for exercise, food and socializing. Anxiety-driven behaviors like whining, barking and chewing on bedding or toys develop when dogs are alone for too long and don’t get enough attention and exercise.
A good pet policy for apartments is one that provides a safe community for everyone. Management should ensure pet owners:
- Have complied with the above steps before moving in
- Have access to designated areas for walking pets — if possible, a “Bark Park” where dogs can play with other dogs to promote the comfort of children and adults who may be less comfortable around dogs
- Always leash their dogs outside the apartment, unless they’re inside a fenced dog park
- Understand their responsibility to bag and dispose of pet waste to keep walkways, playgrounds and parks clean and healthy
Many apartment communities use a service called Poo Prints®, which analyzes waste samples to establish a pet’s DNA and add them to the World Pet Registry. Management collects pet waste left behind and sends it to Poo Prints® for analysis and identification of the pet and owner, who will have to pay a fine of as much as $200. This program has proven successful in promoting responsible pet ownership and, when enforced, residents’ rights to enjoy their community and its amenities.
Contact Triple Crown Corporation for More Assistance
Pet owners must be willing to follow policies that keep the good of animals and the comfort of their neighbors in mind. If you have questions about pet ownership in your community, contact a Triple Crown Corporation leasing agent — we’ll be happy to help.