Renting with Pets: Complete Guide

To find a perfect rental home can be a real pain in sass! But have you ever done renting with pets? Yes, that can be a horrible nightmare. Pet owners who have done this before will know how daunting this process can be. The thing is, landlords, don’t easily rent to tenants with pets. Legal notices for dog bites, horrible experience with the dog, cat hair allergies; there is always some reason for landlords to be wary. So what you and your furry friend could do?

Luckily, we have got you covered. There were so many questions circulating over the net regarding renting with pets that we decided to make an Ultimate Guide to Rent Apartment Living with a Pet.

Nevertheless, here in this blog, we answers every question that you’ve been thinking of and also to questions that haven’t even crossed your mind. Please go through our step-by-step guide that will ensure you and your friend would start on the right foot (and paw too). 

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How to be an Advocate for your Pet?

  • Talk to your landlord about the history of your healthy relationship with your pet and how responsible a pet owner you have been in your previous apartment. A reference letter from the prior owner or society secretary can go a long way here.
  • Show how well trained your pet is. Not everyone gets a good boy as a pet but telling your pet to shake hands or letting the owner touch your pet will do the trick. Well, this is because every landowner wants to know whether the pet is well-behaved or not. 
  • Show them the vet’s signed letter about how healthy your pet is and not at risk of spreading disease.
  • You can also ask the landlord whether you have to pay a pet deposit or a pet rent before signing the contract. This will demonstrate that you are a humble person who is committed. 
  • Introducing your pet will be the first step in renting the apartment. You can tell anything about how good, and well-mannered your pet is, but they are only going to believe it when they see a glimpse of it. 
  • You can always go the extra mile and create your pet profile on social media (which most of you must have already created) and show your landlord cute pictures and videos of your pet. 

How to Find Landlords that allow Pets?

The best way to find a landlord that allows pets is OFCOURSE finding a landlord that has a pet (thank me later). Also, there are so many apartment renting apps and websites available having filters such as “pet-friendly” or “dog-friendly” apartments in the search tab, which will help you to pinpoint the perfect rental house for you. 

You may have better luck getting the rental place if you have a cat rather than a dog. It’s unknown why cats are universally accepted to be better to take care of than dogs. Well, dog lovers like me would be disappointed after knowing this. Anyways, we are letting you know this because some of the “pet-friendly” apartments might be only friendly to cats or dogs. You should specify which pet you have before talking to “pet-friendly” landlords. You may also refer to our guide on moving with dogs to have more information about this.

Show Landlord Benefits of having Pets

Let’s consider you have found a dream house for rent, but the house owner is not pet-friendly at all. What would you do?  

If you want the same place for renting, you will have to explain a long list of benefits of having a pet to the owner. Yes, this might be the only way to do it. If you are a pet lover, we don’t think it would be that difficult for you to explain to someone the importance of having a pet. You must have already explained 4-5 times to other people. 

One of the main benefits of renting your house to a pet owner is that they are more likely to stay long-term than other people. You can convince them that it’s already difficult to find a single rental room that allows pets. No pet owner would love to change their living place frequently. 

And, of course, dogs are like watchdogs for their neighborhood. They give a feeling of safety as they can sense danger way before we do. In addition to this, exposure to animals increases immunity, and it is approved by science.

Investigate if the Rental Property is Suitable for your Pet.

Now that you have narrowed down your search and convinced the landlord to accept your pet don’t hurry to sign the agreement yet. There are many things you should go through before renting a house with pets.

  • Look if the apartment has trails, dog parks, or other walkable activities nearby where you can take your pet out for adventures. 
  • Look around if any street animals are present in the neighborhood who would likely attack or injure your pet. 
  • See whether there are any Vet dispensaries or boarding houses nearby. During the emergency, they will be more helpful than anyone else. 
  • Look for carpet-free apartments to avoid staining caused by pet urination. 
  • Rent a house with ample space enough for your pet to roam around.
  • Consider the house, which has pet-friendly things like a small dog door or even a removable shower head.

What Not to Do in Your Pet-Friendly Apartment Search:

Okay, so we have discussed every possible thing you should consider before renting a house with a pet. But there are also a few things you should not consider while finding a pet-friendly apartment. The list below will help you know what are Don’ts!

Don’t ever try to hide your pet from landowners or bring them home without an agreement. This can be grounds for eviction, and maybe further legal notice would be taken by the owner when he finds out you have a furry friend who is living with you without paying rent. 

Don’t procrastinate! Don’t stop searching for more rental places even if you feel like you have found one. Maybe, the better place would be just another search away! It’s not like you will find your dream rental home on the first attempt.

Don’t Panic! If your owner is taking a hard stance against your pet and telling you to empty the place immediately. Don’t Panic! Such things can happen all of a sudden. Stay calm, and just in case, take it legally. We would suggest you mention these things in the agreement so that you can have a few weeks to search for another rental house. 

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Signing a Lease

Now that you have found your new pet-friendly rental house, you are ready to sign the agreement (Hard stop). Make sure you are not signing it before reading every line. Remember that the verbal approval about the rent isn’t going to cut it legally if you get into a sticky situation. 

Ask questions about the apartment pet policy: 

  • Are there any places where dogs can be leashed off?
  • Are there any common places that are restricted to pets?
  • Are pets allowed to relieve themselves anywhere outdoors around the property, or is that restricted?
  • Make sure you will be given an ultimatum before giving sudden leaving notice. You may also read our article on things to know about home eviction.
  • If any of these points are not included, try to make it happen. Or, if the owner is not interested in any of these points, leave their way and move to the next rental place. 

See also: Pet Policies for a Rental – A Detailed Guide | Eviction Moving Services

If you find out there are way too many rules for the comfort of your pet, you can bail before it’s too late. In a lease agreement, another thing to look for is an extra fee for living with a pet in an apartment. 

Every state has different laws regarding what landowners can legally charge for pets, so do your homework and speak with your realtor about your tenant rights.

Everything you Need to Know about Dogs and Cats

Dogs pose a more significant threat to your landlord regarding noise, property damage, and liability issues. To assuage your landlord’s concerns, approach the situation with empathy and describe your dog’s typical noise level and behavior. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, or if you already have one and you are looking for a place to live, plan some simple tricks that may make your dog and your landlord best buddies when it’s time to move in.

If you end up downsizing, managing your dog’s enthusiasm and anxiety levels is critical to maintaining a happy home. Take your dog out for daily walks to get them out of the confined space, or you can also hire a dog walker if you are busy with your schedule to keep your pup fit and happy. Regular visits to the outside world and playing time with other animals will both stimulate and calm your dog. Consider rearranging the furniture to give your pet more room to move around and avoid making them feel crowded. Consider a corner with a big bed and their favorite toys to help your pet feel at home in their new home.

On the other hand, cats are easier in many ways when it comes to a rental move because landlords do not often see them as a liability or threat, and they don’t require much to keep them happy. However, if they are not declawed, there’s a good chance your cat can cause damage to your property with their claws. While many pet owners believe that declawing is inhumane, property owners do not always share the same values. Outside cats are also a red flag for landholders because they can bring fleas and other animals inside. Immunization and spay/neuter records may help to alleviate your landlord’s concerns and increase your bargaining power. You may also read our blog on moving with pets to know more about this.

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FAQs

Can landlords refuse tenants with pets?

In the vast majority of cases, landlords can refuse tenants with pets. But there are ways around this. Landlords must still treat all tenants fairly and not discriminate because of a disability that requires the tenant to have an assistance animal. 

Can you have a pet without telling your landlord?

Do you want to get a dog, but your landlord doesn’t allow pets? If so, it may be possible to have a pet without telling your landlord. Although having pets could be a violation of the terms of your lease, it’s unlikely that your landlord will find out unless they live in the house with you or visit often. But we would suggest being honest with your landlord and rather convince him if he is not ready to allow you to have a pet. 

Why don’t landlords want pets?

Landlords often insist that tenants do not have pets. This is what many prospective tenants with pets want to know. Landlords can also restrict the types of pets a tenant can have or even limit the number of permitted pets. It’s kind of my place, my rules. Multiple complaints about pet damage can be the main reason, or if the landlord has some bad experience with animals, they might never allow pets at all. For most landlords and property managers, pets present a big problem: property damage, more maintenance work, and potential liability issues.

How can I hide my pet from my landlord?

You simply cannot hide your pet; it’s just not right! Pet is not a toy; it’s your family member. Will you ever hide your family member? If your answer is yes. You need to consult your doctor asap. Anyways even if you try to hide, it will not be good for your pet in any way. Your pet can’t express themselves; they will suffer inside closed doors, and you may never know. 

How do you get around pet restrictions?

There’s nothing like taking a road trip with your dog. From hiking to traveling, both you and your pup can gain the enjoyment of being able to stay together. But not every hotel or rental care company wants pets on site. So how do you get around pet restrictions? To avoid pet restrictions when traveling with a trained service animal, a letter from your doctor and photo identification for the animal are recommended. If a trained service animal is not possible, we recommend contacting the hotel directly to inquire about options that fit your situation.

Do I have to tell my landlord if I get a dog?

You don’t legally have to tell your landlord that you’re getting a pet, but it’s probably a good idea. Here are some reasons why. It’s in breach of your contract. Your tenancy agreement probably states that you can’t keep pets. You could get evicted. If your landlord finds out you’re keeping an unauthorized pet, they can take legal action against you and potentially evict you. It increases your risk of being liable for the damage. Depending on the circumstances, if your pet causes damage, you or your landlord is responsible for paying for the cost of repair or replacement. You are likely to be covered by home insurance if anything goes wrong.

Also See: List of National Moving Companies in the US

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.