Your pets are part of your family, giving you unconditional love and plenty of entertainment. Unfortunately, if you want to rent a property, it may be harder than you think to bring the furry members of your family with you. However, if your landlord is a private owner, you may be able to convince him or her to let you bring your cat or dog.
Prove Yourself First
Before you can ask a landlord to allow you to bring a pet onto the property, you need to prove yourself as a tenant first. If you are applying to move into a new rental, show that you have a good credit history. Provide references from your previous landlord proving that you pay your rent and other bills in full and on time. If you already live on the property, prove that you are a good tenant by paying your rent and bills on time, keeping your property clean, keeping noise levels down and showing that neighbors do not have a reason to complain about you.
Have Vet References
If you already have a pet and hope to bring it with you to a new property, veterinarian records are a must. Show your potential new landlord that your cat or dog is up to date on all vaccinations, has been spayed or neutered and is healthy in every other way. If the law requires it in your area, be sure you can prove that your dog or cat is licensed. It also helps to provide a phone number or other means of contact for your veterinarian so that your landlord can verify information.
Provide References From Your Previous Landlord
Does your cat or dog live with you at your current residence? You can prove he or she is a good tenant. The best way to do this is to provide your previous landlord’s information—something you will likely have to do on your application anyway—and let your potential new landlord know that your previous one will vouch for your pet. You can also take pictures of your current rental to prove your cat has not clawed the walls and your dog has not chewed up doors or other low-lying places.
Create a Pet Resume
Your cat or dog is applying just like you are, so why not put his or her best paw forward? Create a resume for your pet that includes a couple of pictures, information about his or her breed and size, a list of favorite hobbies and a list of any obedience training or other “education” he or she has had. Remember, some cities have local ordinances preventing certain dog breeds from living in certain areas. If your dog falls into that category, it won’t be up to a landlord to approve your pet.
Set Up a Meeting With Your Pet
Let your landlord meet your pet or the one you are hoping to adopt. If you have a cat, bring him or her in using a suitable cat carrier like this Double Door Pet Carrier or on a harness and leash, if your cat will allow it. If you have a dog, put him or her in a harness such as the Wrap and Snap Choke-Free Harness on a basic six-foot lead. Meet at the landlord’s place of choice and allow them to get acquainted with one another. If your pet is well-behaved, friendly and not destructive, your landlord just might cave when he or she sees that cute little face.
Put an ID Tag on Your Pet
Your pet should already have an identification tag, but if he or she doesn’t, put one on now. Have it engraved with your pet’s name and your phone number, and then securely attach it to his or her collar. A tag like this Small Engraved Tag even has room for an email address. This shows your landlord that you care about your pet’s wellbeing and will do everything in your power to get your pet back if he or she gets loose.
Be Prepared to Pay
In most cases, even when a landlord decides to allow a pet, you will have to pay a deposit and an additional monthly pet rent. These prices vary from landlord to landlord, but usually cost several hundred dollars as a deposit and $25 to $50 extra per month.
Obey the Law of Your Lease
Under no circumstances should you sneak a pet into your rental property before speaking to your landlord. If your lease specifically states no pets, your landlord can require you to get rid of your cat or dog. He or she could even go through the legal process to evict you because you broke the lease, leaving you and your furry friend both in serious predicaments.
Not all landlords will budge, even if you do everything you can to show your pet will not be a problem. If that is the case and you don’t want to rehome your dog or cat, you will need to keep looking for a place. Eventually, you will find a landlord who loves your family member as much as you do.