Searching for a rental that meets all of your location, price, and amenity preferences is hard. Finding a place that has it all and allows pets is even harder. No matter how much joy Fido or Kitty bring you, having a pet is a huge hassle when renting an apartment or house. Pets are expensive, time consuming, and sometimes destructive. Knowing ahead of time what to expect when renting with a pet can help you better prepare for the risks you may encounter. Here are eight risks of renting with a pet:
Most landlords require pet owners to pay a pet deposit, either in a lump sum or a monthly payment. Some are refundable and others are not. This money covers any damage that your pet may cause to the property, including soiled rugs, scratched floors, broken screen doors, and much more. If you’re lucky enough to have a refundable pet deposit, you should do everything you can to keep your home looking good as new so you can get your money back.
One of the biggest risks of renting with a pet is the possibility of property damage. Excessive chewing, scratching, and digging can cause permanent damage that will come out of your pocket. Pet stains and odor can also be harm to remove. Most minor damages are covered under your pet deposit, but greater destruction or permanent damage may end up costing you more than the deposit.
Pet owners always run the risk of being rejected by the landlord or leasing office because they own a pet. It’s very unlikely that a non-pet friendly apartment will make accommodations for you and Fido, so don’t waste your time. Narrow your search to pet-friendly properties that accept animals like yours.
Pets can be a nuisance to you and your neighbors. Barking dogs, fighting cats, and chirping birds can disturb your neighbors and cause problems with your property. Minimize unwanted behaviors by keeping your pet indoors, training your pet, and spending quality time with the pet.
Some landlords ask tenants to show proof of obedience training or require dogs to attend training classes prior to moving in. This is one investment you may not be able to get around, but it will certainly help your chances of being accepted as a tenant. Attending obedience training will show the landlord that you are a responsible pet owner.
Many apartments have breed and size restrictions for dogs. Aggressive dog breeds such as Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, pit bulls, chow chows, and German shepherds may be banned or allowed on a case-by-case basis. If you own an aggressive dog or a notoriously aggressive breed, it’s in your best interest to invest in obedience training and tools that will help deter dog aggression like a muzzle or head halter.
It’s not uncommon for landlords to make periodic inspections in units where pets are living. While landlords have a right to know if you are keeping the unit clean and livable for both humans and pets, you don’t want to give them a reason to check-up on you. Put your apprehensive landlord at ease by keeping your apartment or house spick and span and he or she will get off your back.
In addition to a pricy pet deposit, pet owners may have to pay for additional fees and services in order to stay in their rental. Most landlords require tenants to have their pets spayed or neutered, treated for fleas, and licensed with the city. Responsible pet owners who care about their pet’s well-being shouldn’t have any objections to most of these requests. It’s a good idea to have a pet fund set aside in case of an emergency.