Finding an apartment that allows pets can be a challenging process. As a pet owner, you want to ensure your furry friends have a comfortable home while also meeting your needs. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about locating pet-friendly apartment rentals in your desired area.
Approximately 85 million families in the United States own a pet. For many, pets are valued members of the household. However, not all apartments allow animals which can make the rental search difficult for pet owners. The good news is there are ample pet-friendly apartment options if you know where to look.
This detailed guide will provide pet owners with tips, resources, and factors to consider when looking for an apartment that permits pets. We’ll cover how to search for rentals, questions to ask landlords, typical pet policies and fees, breed and size restrictions, and much more. Read on to learn the best practices to find quality pet-friendly apartments for rent near you.
Outline of Main Topics
- Defining “Pet-Friendly” Rentals and Typical Policies
- The Best Resources for Finding Pet-Friendly Apartments
- Working with Landlords – Asking the Right Questions
- Factors That Determine Pet Friendliness
- Pros and Cons of Renting a Pet-Friendly vs. Pet Restricted Unit
- Estimating Pet Rent and Deposits
- Managing Multi-Pet Households
- Handling Breed, Size, and Weight Limits
- Apartment Living Considerations with Pets
- Choosing the Right Neighborhood and Location
- Comparing Pet Friendly vs. Regular Apartments
- Guidelines and Preparation for Rental Applications
- Making Your Pet Part of the Apartment Search
- Transitioning Your Pet into the New Home
- Checklist for Moving into a Pet Friendly Rental
Defining “Pet-Friendly” Rentals and Typical Policies
Not all apartments that allow pets have the same rules. The term “pet-friendly” can mean different things among landlords. It’s important to understand the subtle differences in order to find rentals suitable for you and your pets.
Many pet-friendly apartments restrict animals to either cats or dogs. Others permit small pets like birds, rabbits, hamsters, fish, and reptiles. Most standard pet policies only allow common domesticated pets.
Typical pet limitations include:
- Number of pets – Often 1 or 2 per apartment
- Maximum pet weight – Usually 25 to 40 lbs
- Prohibited aggressive dog breeds
- Deposit per pet – Ranges from $100 to $500
- Monthly pet rent – Average of $25 to $50 per pet
Standard fees pay for any damages or carpet cleaning needed when you move out. Landlords also want to ensure pets are properly cared for.
Be sure to clarify the specific terms to understand if your pets are allowed. Never attempt to hide pets from your landlord. Read on to learn questions to ask about pet policies.
The Best Resources for Finding Pet-Friendly Apartments
You can utilize a variety of online and offline resources in your pet-friendly apartment search. The best places to look include:
Online Listings Sites
Websites like Apartments.com, Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, and Rent.com allow you to search for rentals using filters like “cats allowed” and “dogs allowed.” This narrows your options to pet friendly units only.
Rental Community Websites
Once you find apartments you like, visit their individual website listings for details on pet policies. Rental rates, fees, andpet restrictions will be outlined before you apply.
Social Media Rental Groups
Join local Facebook groups, Reddit communities, or NextDoor groups to get recommendations from pet owners in your area. People will share landlords with flexible pet policies.
Rental Listings in Newspapers
Scour the classifieds section of local newspapers for privately listed apartments that may allow pets without restrictions. Individual landlords often have more flexibility.
Make Phone Calls
Don’t be shy about calling rental companies and landlords directly to inquire about pet policies. Many older listings may not be updated online.
Drive or Walk Around Neighborhoods
Look for “For Rent” signs in your desired neighborhoods. Inquire in-person about any openings to explain your pets and ask questions.
Ask for Referrals
Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to get referrals for pet-friendly apartments. They may know rentals that work with pets.
With persistence across these channels, pet owners can find quality rentals that meet their criteria.
Working with Landlords – Asking the Right Questions
Once you identify potential pet-friendly apartment options, have open and direct discussions with landlords before applying or signing any lease. Key questions to ask include:
- What types of pets and breeds are allowed and prohibited?
- Is there a number limit for pets?
- Are there any size, weight, or age restrictions?
- What is the pet application process? What documents are required?
- What is the pet deposit amount? Is it refundable?
- Is there monthly pet rent? How much?
- Where can pets be kept and walked on the property? Any restrictions?
- What areas are off limits to pets like the pool, gym, etc?
- Are there designated pet waste areas? Who cleans up after pets?
- Will my rental application be denied if my pet’s breed is considered “aggressive”?
- What happens if another tenant complains about my pet?
- Is pet rent waived for service/emotional support animals with proper documentation?
Get all policies and costs associated with your pets in writing before submitting a rental application. This ensures no surprises or confusion once you move in. Being transparent will give you the best chance at approval.
Factors That Determine Pet Friendliness
While individual apartment policies play a big role, other factors influence how pet welcoming a rental will be. Assess the following details as you evaluate your options:
- Houses are most pet friendly, followed by duplexes and townhouses. High-rise apartments tend to be more restrictive.
- Privately owned units typically have more flexible pet rules than large complexes.
- Ground floor units provide easier outdoor access for pets.
- Access to green space, trails, dog parks and yards are a major perk.
- Being close to pet stores, groomers, vets and walking trails is ideal.
- Some communities are more pet welcoming than others. Ask residents.
- Consider excessive street or hallway noise that could distress pets.
- Brand new carpeting may cause concern for stains and claws.
While you may not find an apartment that checks every box, aim for one that suits your pets’ needs. Compromise on your wish list if needed.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Pet-Friendly vs. Pet Restricted Unit
Is it better to rent from a complex or landlord that allows pets already? Or one that restricts pets but may make an exception for your well-behaved animal companions? Here are pros and cons of both options to weigh:
- No need for negotiations or exceptions
- Won’t risk application denial due to pets
- No hiding pets from landlord
- Access to outdoor dog walks and pet relief areas
- Potential to meet other pet owners
- Competition with other applicants
- Required pet deposits and fees
- Restrictions may still apply
- Noise or pet waste issues with other renters
- Potential pet damages are a risk
- Less competition from other applicants
- Typically lower rents and deposits
- Existing tenants won’t have pets
- New pet damage is less likely
- Not guaranteed to make an exception for you
- Required to justify pet with references
- Higher risk of application denial
- May be asked to pay higher deposit
- Limited outdoor access or relief areas
If you have well-trained pets and a willing landlord, scoring a restricted unit can give you financial savings. But you risk denial. Open pet-friendly units offer more certainty but cost more upfront.
Estimating Pet Rent and Deposits
When preparing your apartment budget, account for potential pet fees. These can add a couple hundred dollars in monthly and move-in costs. Typical pet rents and deposits include:
- $200 – $500 upfront per pet (non-refundable)
- Covers potential damages upon move out
- Higher for larger dog breeds
- $20 – $50 monthly per pet
- Covers wear and tear caused by pets
- Varies based on pet size, type, age
- No pet deposit or rent allowed by law
- Proper medical documentation required
Be sure to follow apartment rules to maintain your deposit. Repair any damages before moving out. Follow proper pet waste cleanup and noise policies.
Managing Multi-Pet Households
Having multiple pets makes the apartment search more challenging but isn’t impossible. Follow these tips for renting with several animals:
- Understand number restrictions – Some cap households at 2 pets total
- Expect higher deposits and rents for each added pet
- Look for larger units with abundant outdoor space
- Get references proving pets can live harmoniously
- Train pets to avoid noise complaints
- Keep vaccinations and medical records current
- Maintain proper grooming and cleanliness
- Always supervise pets when outside unit
- Provide plenty of stimulation and exercise
- Budget for higher pet-sitting needs
While multiple pets require more diligence, you can find the right fit by following apartment rules and properly caring for your furry friends.
Handling Breed, Size, and Weight Limits
Two major ways landlords restrict pets in apartments are through breed bans and size/weight caps. Several tips can improve your chances with these obstacles:
- Never falsify your pet’s breed on applications
- Emphasize mix breed status if unsure of pure genetics
- Highlight obedience training and good behavior
- Obtain animal shelter references vouching for temperament
- Consider DNA testing to confirm breed composition
- Offer to purchase additional liability insurance
Size and Weight Limits
- Bring pets to meet landlords to showcase friendliness
- Provide vet paperwork with current weight
- Mention plans to maintain weight through proper diet
- Offer additional deposit for heavier pets
- Point out positive references from past landlords
- Follow rules on leashes, waste cleanup, and supervision
While frustrating, overcoming apartment breed and size policies shows you are a responsible pet owner. Patience and persistence will pay off.
Apartment Living Considerations with Pets
How do you prepare pets for the unique aspects of apartment living? These tips help ensure a smooth transition:
- Noise – Train not to excessively bark or whine. Muffle noise with crates or calming toys.
- Distractions – Frequently expose to people, animals, noises. Reward calm behavior.
- Space – Ensure apartment size accommodates pet energy levels. Have dog walking routes planned.
- House training – Regress to basics. Use puppy pads if struggling with accidents. Confine when alone.
- Socialization – Gradually introduce to friendly pets in community. Supervise all interactions.
- Exercise – Maintain active playtime and walks to avoid restlessness.
- Proper ID – Use collar tags with your phone number and unit details. Consider microchipping.
Adjusting from a house takes time. Exercise patience and keep animal comfort a priority.
Choosing the Right Neighborhood and Location
Finding an apartment situated near the action or in a quiet residential area depends on your pet’s needs. Factors to consider when choosing a neighborhood include:
For outgoing, social pets:
- Walkable urban areas
- Close to parks, trails, dog parks
- Near pet stores and veterinary offices
- Current tenants have pets
- Access to green space
For shy, easily stressed pets:
- Quiet residential streets
- Away from busy roads
- Near nature trails or water
- Limited foot and vehicle traffic
- Private outdoor space (yard, patio)
For any pets:
- Clear of loud construction noise
- No nearby live music venues
- Away from garbage collection areas
Tour potential neighborhoods at high and low traffic times to assess. Opt for proximity to amenities matching your pet’s demeanor.
Comparing Pet Friendly vs. Regular Apartments
How do apartments that allow pets compare to standard rentals in terms of costs and unit condition? Here’s an overview:
| Comparison | Pet Friendly Apartments | Standard Apartments |
| Application Fee | $40 – $75 per applicant | $40 – $75 per applicant |
| Security Deposit | $200 – $500 per pet | $300 – $500 for unit |
| Monthly Rent | $50 – $100 higher | Lower base rent |
|Pet Rent | $20 – $40 per pet | $0 |
| Unit Condition | More wear and tear | Freshly renovated units |
| Outdoor Space | Shared pet relief areas | Limited grass access |
| Common Areas | Pet dander present | No pet dander concerns |
| Noise Levels | Potential pet disturbances | Quiet environment |
Evaluate whether the extra costs and compromises of pet friendly apartments make sense for your situation. You want pets to be comfortable without breaking the bank.
Guidelines and Preparation for Rental Applications
Applying for an apartment that allows pets? Set your application up for success with these tips:
- Review pet policies and limits before submitting
- Ensure pets meet all size, weight, breed requirements
- Have current vet records showing vaccinations and care
- Get letters of reference documenting pet temperament
- Provide pet resume with photos highlighting training, socialization
- Be ready to pay application fees for all adult occupants and pets
- Offer higher pet deposits or rent for added reassurance
- Purchase pet liability insurance for extra protection
- Clean up social profiles of pets destroying furniture etc.
- Highlight stewardship as a responsible pet parent
The more you prepare documents supporting pet behavior and mitigating risks, the better your odds of approval. Follow apartment rules closely.
Making Your Pet Part of the Apartment Search
Including your furry companions directly in the apartment search process helps ensure it will suit them too. Here’s how to make pets part of the rental hunt:
- Bring pets to tour units and meet landlords, following all guidelines
- Watch pet reactions being inside apartments to catch concerns
- Ask landlords to observe pet interactions with current resident pets
- Take trial walks around the neighborhood and property
- Evaluate outdoor communal pet areas onsite
- Assess proximity to highways and other noise pollution
- Consider pet stress levels after visiting rental units and complexes
- Avoid forcing pets into uncomfortable situations that may provoke anxiety or aggression
Visiting apartments together lets you monitor pet comfort levels first-hand. You can detect issues early before signing any lease agreements.
Transitioning Your Pet into the New Home
A move to an apartment can be an overwhelming transition for pets used to living in a house. Make it smoother with these tips:
Before Move-In Day
- Gradually shift feeding schedules and walking routes to match apartment patterns
- Mimic apartment noises at your current home to get pets accustomed
- Take short trips to apartment location for added familiarity
- Pack a pet essentials bag with medications, food bowls, leashes, calming aids
On Move-In Day
- Transport pets in carriers secured with harnesses for safety
- Set up safe pet rooms with familiar beds, toys, litter boxes
- Take pets for walks to relieve stress and overcome stimuli
- Give pets “den-like” enclosed spaces to provide comfort
- Maintain routines like feeding times, exercise, playtime
- Avoid reprimands for initial accidents or destructive behavior
- Schedule vet visit to catch any health issues due to stress
- Stick to consistent schedules and crating periods
- Use calming supplements if adjustment issues persist
- Be patient – full acclimation takes several weeks or longer
With planning and patience, you can ease pet stress during an apartment relocation. Get them comfortable in their new home.
Checklist for Moving into a Pet Friendly Rental
Use this comprehensive checklist when moving into a new pet friendly apartment to keep your pets happy and start off on the right foot with management.
🐾 Pet records updated with vaccinations and vet details
🐾 Pet liability insurance policy obtained
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🐾 Pet deposits and first month’s rent paid
🐾 New pet ID tags and microchips with updated address
🐾 Unit prepared with puppy pads, pet beds, food stations
🐾 Calming aids, pheromone diffusers purchased
🐾 Proper leashes, waste bags, litter boxes ready
🐾 Emergency pet supplies packed – food, medicine, bowls
🐾 Pet comfort zones established in apartment
🐾 Initial apartment pet policy review completed
🐾 Outdoor relief areas mapped out
🐾 Preferred pet walking routes identified
🐾 Vet, emergency clinics and pet stores located
🐾 Landlord contact info and unit details documented
🐾 Management office notified of successful move-in
Following this list ensures you move in fully prepared to give your pets the best possible start in their new home.
Finding the ideal pet-friendly apartment takes effort but offers great rewards. Your furry companions become valued members of the community.
This guide provided a comprehensive walk-through of the entire process – from searching for rentals to moving into your new unit. While no apartment is perfect, taking proactive steps will land you the best fit.
Always be up
front with landlords on your pets’ needs. Follow all apartment rules diligently. And keep your animal’s health and happiness a top priority.
With the right home base secured, you and your pets can enjoy the fun, footloose apartment lifestyle to the fullest. Use this complete guide as your roadmap to finding pet-friendly apartments rentals nearby that meet your needs.