What to Know Before Embarking On a Pet-Friendly Apartment Search

By Kaitlin Hurtado on June 7, 2022

Hunting for a new apartment is a stressful endeavor on its own, but finding a new apartment that ticks everything off your wishlist and accepts your pet cat or dog? It can be stressful and time-consuming as not every apartment accepts pets in their rental units. Many rental properties have a strict policy regarding tenants with pets as they typically come with more risks regarding property damages.

Not sure where to start on making your hunt for a pet-friendly apartment a successful one? Keep reading for what to know before beginning your search for a pet-friendly apartment.

Photo: Pexels

Honesty is the best policy

You may be thinking that it’ll be easy to tell property management and landlords exactly what they want to hear — that you don’t have a pet moving in with you, or a “white lie” about your dog being smaller than it really is, or you owning one less cat than you currently have.

During the application process, be honest about your situation and pet(s). Detail your pet’s size, breed, and offer answers to any questions property management may have. Some apartments may allow pets, but be strict about the breed or size of pets in their rental units. Typical pet-friendly apartment restrictions may include a pet size of 20 pounds or less, limiting tenants to have cats or smaller breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, many apartments restrict tenants from having larger breeds of dogs, such as German Shepherds, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers. These can be in place due to local city or county ordinances or the individual apartment property’s insurance policy.

It’s important to ask questions – do not let anything go “assumed” when it comes to lease agreements and pets. Yes, you can assume that if a lease agreement does not explicitly outline a certain pet policy. In order to avoid potential drama in the future once you move in, ask for clarification in writing that you can always refer to if your landlord gives you problems about your pet during your lease.

Prepare a pet resume. If you’ve enrolled your pet in an obedience school, you should have a record of their certificate of completion. Showing your potential landlord your pet’s records, from obedience school certificates to health records (vaccination, spay or neuter records, etc.).

A personal recommendation from your past landlord, neighbors, or your pet’s obedience trainer can help paint your pet in a positive light to your potential landlord. Getting letters of recommendation can help show that you are a responsible pet owner and show that your dog is well-behaved and should not be a cause of concern to the rental property.

Narrow down your search to pet-friendly apartments

You may find yourself struggling to land an application if you are applying to any apartment possible. If you haven’t already, narrow down your apartment search for properties that are pet-friendly. If you have friends that have pets that live in apartments, try searching for available units where they live as another starting point.

Make your pet’s needs a priority

You may find an apartment that checks all your boxes, but it may not necessarily be the perfect fit for your pet. You may want a smaller apartment because you are telling yourself you do not need that much space, or you can save by downsizing, but do not let your pet suffer in a cramped space, especially if they are used to a larger space.

Some apartments have their own pet-friendly outdoor spaces, perfectly sectioned off and fenced for pets to roam around freely as they wish. While you cannot get your own backyard with an apartment, opting for a pet-friendly apartment with alternate options can help keep your pet healthy and happy.

If you are looking at an apartment that is anywhere but the first/ground floor, you may want to consider how much noise your pets are going to make. A more high-energy puppy or cat will produce a lot more noise running around throughout the day. Anticipate noise complaints if you are living on a higher level with downstairs neighbors.

Increase your budget for pet-friendly apartments

Unfortunately, pet-friendly apartments may cost more than your typical apartment. Many pet-friendly apartments will opt to have an additional “pet deposit” on top of the typical security deposit to cover any pet-related property damages. Or they may opt to charge a monthly amount as a “pet rent” to cover any possible damages.

As much as you think the additional cost is unfair, it’s a cost that you will likely have to cover if you want a pet-friendly apartment. Sure, you may need to adjust your monthly budget, but it will be worth having your pet be able to move into you safely and worry-free.

Hunting for a pet-friendly apartment can be stressful for anyone, but with this information in mind, you can help yourself navigate the stress and land you and your pet in the perfect apartment.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format