How to Find the Purrrfect Apartment for You and Your Pet
Finding a new home to rent can be a daunting task for some. Throw a dog or a cat in the mix and you find yourself negotiating a whole new set of rules. Sadly, not everyone in the rental experience is thrilled to see your little fur baby waddling up the steps with you; especially landlords. Here’s some tips, tricks, and best practices to help you understand what the other side expects, when you and Mr. Pickles show up on move-in day.
Searching for Pet Friendly Apartment
Look for spaces with hardwood, laminate or tile flooring in lieu of carpet. There is a sea of online rental websites to peruse. To save on time, we designed these quick filters. Tell our apartment match system about your ideal, pet-friendly dream home, and let LIVV comb through thousands of listings to store your vintage collection of bedazzled cat sweaters.
Getting Your Paperwork in Order
It’s not uncommon for landlords to ask for vaccination records, city / country registration information, and even a photo. Have this info at the ready. The American Kennel Club even suggests *giggle-snort* a pet resume, with even a helpful letter of reference from your former landlord. Here’s some more ideas on the subject.
Be Prepared to Pay a Deposit
It is quite common to be expected to pay a fee when living with pets. A national study by FIREPAW, Inc. found most pet-friendly housing was found to charge a separate pet deposit - the average pet deposit was between 40% and 85% of the rent (yowzah)!
Don't Skim Over the Fine Print
Never sign any lease containing language specifying ‘no pets’, even if the agent or landlord representative verbally says that pets are okay. As silly as this sounds, you might not be executing the signed lease in the presence of the ultimate authority. Failing to clarify this could put you on the losing end of a future conflict.
Make Sure You Get a Pet Addendum
A pet addendum will clearly voice which pets are and are not allowed, size and weight restrictions, breed, age, spayed / neutered status, vaccination requirements and whether or not it’s a service animal. Dogtime.com lends us some good advice in this matter: “First, read the lease thoroughly, especially the parts that relate to your pet. Make sure your dog or cat (or parakeet or snake, for that matter) fits within the limits established in the lease. If the apartment only allows small dogs and you own a Golden Retriever or a larger mixed breed, ask for an allowance — and then make sure it’s written into the lease and initialed by you and the landlord.”
Be a Responsible Pet Tenant
Once in a rental agreement, the burden of responsibility rests firmly on the pet-loving renter’s shoulders. Come on, do we really have to elaborate here? Telescoping pooper scoopers and self-cleaning litter boxes should be second nature to you by now, young padawan. Minimize your pet’s downtime while you are off saving the free world with dog walkers, pet sitters, and stuff to chew on, play with, and ogle. Felines lend themselves to easy maintenance, but you should still put a bit of thought into their well being while you’re away climbing the corporate scratching post.
Curb Bad Behavior Early
Dogs can get separation anxiety and can turn this negative energy on your new place through chewing and damage to the interior. Know your breed and use tips from the Humane Society to curb this behavior. Just because a dog is small, doesn’t mean they excel at apartment and small quarters living. Here’s a cool list of those that do.
Don't Forget About Pet Hygiene
Pet hygiene such as regular baths and flea medication should be common practice in a pet-loving rental, as well as strict leash policies when coming and going from home. Some dogs are actually more suited to a hypoallergenic environment than others, where shedding and dander can leave behind odors after you move out, contributing to the dreaded non-returned pet deposit.
If you're looking for a pet friendly apartment, we invite you to describe your ideal home and LIVV will find you and your furry friend a palace you'll be proud to call home!
LIVV is the world's first AI powered real estate agent designed to help you find and rent the perfect apartment, condo, or home quickly and effortlessly. Tell LIVV your housing and pet-loving preferences, and it will deliver strong matches, help you stand out and lease that perfect new home. Let your next apartment find you at LIVV.co
Jim Logan (Research Intern at LIVV.co)