Things to know if you have a pet and are looking for a new apartment

If you have had a pet for a while and you have rented before you already know that it is difficult to find a pet friendly apartment that fits within your budget. If, however, you have an unlimited budget apartment hunting becomes easier. Why?

The market is flooded with new luxury rentals and developers decided that in order to entice people and families to rent that they would allow your beloved pet.

If you don’t happen to have unlimited funds and you have a pet, then the pool of apartments and landlords who accept pets becomes limited.

Meaning you will have to sacrifice some of your “Wish List” items. Your wish list should be prioritized: the first non-negotiation becomes “Pet Friendly,” with your rental budget coming in second and desired neighborhood at third place.  Everything else is a maybe. Unless you want to wander around aimlessly trying to find an apartment – you will have to know this before you begin your search.

This is one of the reasons many people who have pets don’t move as frequently as those without pets.

You also want to make sure your particular pet fits in with the “Pet Friendly” requirements of a landlord who does accept pets. There are some landlords who will only accept cats, and then others that will only accept a dog if it weighs less than 12 lbs. Others max it at 15 lbs with fewer still who accept dogs as large as 45 lbs.

When viewing a Pet Friendly apartment and way before you sign a lease you have to make sure your landlord is okay with your particular pet. If you aren’t upfront and try to sneak in a pet after you sign a lease this may lay the groundwork for an eviction. Which you don’t want or need.

People who have pets tend to be responsible. Some landlords know this however it is up to you to also introduce your pet to your potential new landlord. You can do this by taking a photo of Fido or Chloe and any other documents to show your pet is well behaved.

The other thing to make sure of before you sign a lease is to find out if there are additional fees for your pet. Some landlords will require as much as $500 (or more) extra security deposit for potential damage to the apartment. Landlords do this for two reasons: 1) Obviously they do not want to incur the cost for your pet to repair any damage to their property; 2) The second reason is a little more psychological – the landlord knows you will want to get your security deposit back in full at the end of your least term (whether it is one year from now or five years from now) and that if your money is at stake you are more likely to take care of the apartment.

Every landlord and every building have their own rules so once you move into your new home remember that you have an extra responsibility to your neighbors by making sure your pet is also “neighbor friendly”.