Finding Rental Homes With Your Dog

  • 26/03/2020
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rental-home.jpgHaving to move when you have a dog can be a real challenge. Finding homes or apartments willing to accept your pet takes extra work. And the larger your dog is, the more hesitant a new landlord may be to rent you their place. Here are some tips on how to find a dog-friendly rental both you and your furry friend will be happy with.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Finding a dog-friendly rental is harder because there are fewer available. If your rental contract is almost over or you suspect you may have to move soon, don’t wait for the formal 30-day notice to look for a new home. Start networking right away to find other places. Speak with other dog owners you meet at dog parks and ask if they know of any dog-friendly rentals. Ask your veterinarian or pet shop for recommendations. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your pet supply store or vet if you could post a small flyer saying you’re looking for a rental for you and your dog.

Look for Home Rentals Instead of Apartments

Single-family homeowners may be more willing to accept dogs in their rentals than apartment landlords. If you can afford a house over an apartment, this option is better for both you and your dog. They’ll have more space to roam and the potential of having their very own yard they can run and play in. If you have to rent an apartment, sites like PeopleWithPets.com maintain directories of pet-friendly listings.

Know the Difference Between a Pet Fee and a Pet Deposit

Dog-friendly rentals typically require a pet fee or a pet deposit. The terms aren’t interchangeable — one is refundable, and one is not. Pet fees are non-refundable payments made to your landlord or rental agency. Pet fees are nothing more than a payment to allow your pet to move in. The fee doesn’t cover any expenses from damage your dog may cause in the rental.

A pet deposit is made at the start of your rental contract and will be returned when you move out if there were no damages to the rental caused by your pet. If the landlord finds damages when you move out, the cost of repair or replacement due to pet-related damages will be deducted from the pet deposit before you receive it back. Be sure to ask for an itemized list of the damages and double check this list before you move out.

Collect Reference Letters From Your Landlords

If you had a positive experience with your current and past landlords, ask for a letter of recommendation for both you and your dog. Such a letter can help sway a hesitant landlord to give your dog a chance. Don’t be afraid to ask a landlord if they’d be willing to reconsider their no-dogs policy if you provide them with reference letters. The worst they can say is no.

Make Your Landlord an Irresistible Offer

If there’s a rental you have your eye on but the landlord is hesitant to allow dogs, consider putting an offer package together to present to the rental agency or owner. The offer package should include:

●      A letter explaining how much you like the rental and that you’d like to offer to pay a reasonable pet deposit and for renter’s insurance with a dog rider to cover any damages.

●      Photos of you and your dog.

●      Reference letters about you and your dog from previous landlords.

●      Any copies of dog training completions and certifications.

●      The proposed renter’s insurance policy showing the additional dog coverage.

Keep the package generic so you can submit it to more than one home or apartment for rent. The offer should increase your chances of getting accepted because it shows you are thoughtful and responsible. Of course, this should only be a consideration if you can afford to pay for a pet deposit and renter’s insurance and you’re confident your dog is well-behaved and won’t cause damages.

Transitioning Your Dog Into the New Home

Now that you finally found a new home, you’ll need to make the move comfortable for your dog, so they transition into the new home successfully. If you’re relocating long-distance, make sure you have a dog safety kit for the long trip. Make a safe space in your car for your dog to rest comfortably during the drive and plan for frequent stops so you can both get some fresh air and have a stretch. If you have to fly, make sure you contact the airline ahead of time to confirm the airline’s rules for pet travel.

Once you arrive in your new home, work to be a good example of what a responsible pet owner should be. The more positive experiences landlords have with dog owners, the more likely they’ll continue to rent to people with dogs.

Minimize damage to the rental by keeping an eye on your dog and training them properly while they’re puppies. Make sure you regularly walk and exercise your pet to avoid accidents inside the rental and behavior that could bring noise complaints from your neighbors from excessive barking. Keeping your dog well-behaved and happy is beneficial for everyone and improves the chances other dog lovers find a home to rent.

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