It’s time to start looking for a new apartment, and you have your requirements. At the top of the list? Making sure the place is pet-friendly so you can bring your four-legged companion. Finding a spot that works for you and your pet can be challenging, but have no fear! Here are some tips on how to manage your apartment search while keeping your furry friend in mind.
Have a Square Footage Requirement
Make sure you take into consideration how much space your pet will need in your new apartment. If you have a small kitten, you’re likely to need less room than if you have a Golden Retriever. In the same way, will you need a space for a litter box? What about an area to put a tank for your reptile? These are all things that affect the amount of space you’ll need in your apartment. Try to filter your searches based on your space requirements and be on the lookout for places with a yard, front porch, or balcony if you want an outdoor area for your pet.
Check out the Neighborhood
Where you live is just as important as the apartment you live in. Check out the neighborhood parks, green spaces, and potential dog parks. Are there walking trails? Open spaces for your dog to run off that energy? It’s good to know what pet-friendly restaurants and bars are nearby, as well, since you’ll probably want to take your pet with you on some adventures.
Next, be sure to look for the nearest veterinary clinic or hospital. Is there one within a few blocks? A few miles? It doesn’t have to be right next door to your new place, but having a vet close to you is an important piece to factor into your apartment search.
Create a Pet Resume
Just like you need a thorough resume for job hunting, you’ll need to create a top-notch pet resume to be considered for some apartments. Pet resumes are nearly a requirement now, especially in many of the hottest rental markets. Some important things to include are: pet’s name, breed, weight, proof of vaccinations, disclosure of any prior incidents, and a current photo.
There are plenty of great examples, so create a pet resume that puts your pet in the best light and you’ll be good to go. Try to avoid humorous resumes, as the apartment is a landlord’s financial investment, and they take placing the right tenant in it seriously.
In the same vein, getting references who can vouch for your pet is important in proving to your potential landlord that you have a well-behaved, apartment-worthy furry friend. Get a letter from your vet showing proof of your pet’s vaccinations, and any paperwork or certificates that show behavior or training classes. These documents will help the landlord see that you’re committed to having an obedient and disciplined pet.
Do you have a previous landlord who can speak to your abilities as a pet-owner and renter? Give their contact information to your potential, new landlord and let them speak separately. Hopefully your previous landlord has good things to say and can pass that information along.
Make it Easy for Your Potential Landlord
Having a pet in your rental ultimately affects the landlord’s investment, the actual unit. Make it as easy as possible for your landlord to allow you to have a pet by compromising. Is your pet potty-trained? How about super well-behaved? Highlight things like the fact that your dog doesn’t bark or your cat doesn’t try to escape from your apartment. Let your landlord know all the good things about your pet so it makes the decision easier on them.
Keep in mind that if you or anyone in your household suffers from a physical and/or emotional disability, you may have a right to keep your pet as an assistance animal, regardless of what your landlord says.
Get Everything in Writing
The last thing you want is to go through the apartment search, interview and application process and only have verbal confirmation that your pet will be welcome in your new apartment. Be proactive and ensure everything you’ve spoken with your future landlord about is in writing within your lease. You might have to pay a pet fee in addition to your security deposit and monthly rent payment, so make sure that number is discussed beforehand and written into the lease, as well.
Finding a pet-friendly apartment shouldn’t make your apartment search difficult; we have plenty of options. Just be sure to narrow down your requirements and find a place that works for both you and your pet.
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