There are many reasons that a landlord cannot refuse to rent to someone. Race, sexual orientation, disabilities, and more are protected. Unfortunately, the right to have a dog live with you is not.
Because of this, when you start looking for a new apartment, you’ll find that many places don’t allow pets. The good news is that this is changing as more and more people choose to adopt pets. Still, finding a dog friendly apartment can be tough, so we’ve gathered together these tips to help you in your search.
Use the Search Filters
There are a number of excellent sites you can use to find an apartment, including Apartments.com, Zillow, and Trulia. Go onto any of these sites and use the filters to search by pet friendly places. That way, only apartment complexes that take pets will appear in your search.
In addition, we encourage you to try PeopleWithPets.com. This site can help you find dog friendly apartments, and it provides other helpful resources for pet owners.
Double Check Based on Pet Size and Breed Restrictions
Some apartment complexes are pet friendly only to an extent. Many don’t allow large dogs or certain breeds. You may have to read the individual apartment listings or contact the landlord to ask.
Try These Resources
If you’re having trouble finding the sort of apartment you want online, there are other resources that may be able to help. Talk to a veterinarian in the area, animal control, or the local humane society. They may be aware of places not showing up in your search, such as those owned by private landlords, which leads us to the next tip.
Ask a Private Landlord
Large property management companies own many of the apartments you’ll find online. However, some have private owners. While big companies are usually strict about their rules, private owners may be more receptive and flexible.
It is possible to find a private owner who claims not to allow pets, but who may be receptive if you can convince them. The following tips are some ways to do that.
Just because you’ve found a pet friendly apartment doesn’t mean your dog will automatically be accepted. The landlord may be able to reject your application if they don’t have enough information about your pet. So, get references to go with your application. These can be from your dog’s vet, your pet sitter, your dog walker, your dog’s trainer, or your dog’s groomer. Any such professional references attesting to your dog’s good behavior can help. They’ll be especially useful if you’re trying to convince a landlord that doesn’t usually allow pets.
Suggest a Slight Rental Increase
Some pet friendly apartments require a pet deposit, a small increase in rent, or both. Suggest that you could do this if they allow you to move in with your dog.
Make Your Dog a Support Animal
Look into making your dog a legal support animal. For example, if you have anxiety, you may be able to get your dog registered as a support pet. Landlords cannot reject your dog if it’s a support animal, and they cannot charge you extra rent, either.
Get the Agreement in Writing
You’ll get a copy of your rental agreement after you’ve been accepted and you’ve signed the paperwork. Keep your copy of it. You may even want to scan it so you have a digital copy saved.
If you find a private landlord willing to make an exception for your dog, get that agreement in writing as well, and save your copy, just as you would with the standard rental agreement. If the landlord decides to claim you didn’t have permission to move in with your dog, you can prove that you did.
Whatever you do, don’t lie about your dog to get into an apartment. Definitely don’t move in your dog in secret, as your landlord will find out and this will be grounds for eviction. Your best course of action is to be honest and to get those support documents for your pet.
Though it may take time, with patience and persistence, you will find a place right for both of you.