Intended Audience: Searching for the perfect apartment for both you and your pet? We’ve got the inside scoop on how to hunt for an apartment stress-free.
Finding an apartment to hang your hat is hard enough as it is. Renting one that allows your furry friend to live with you is a separate matter entirely.
Even though you consider your pet as a family doesn’t mean the management company will.
Despite how challenging it is to find a place that accepts pets, pet ownership isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
The 2017-2018 Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook revealed that almost 57 percent of American families had a pet by the end of 2016.
Find a new home that welcomes your pet. The five steps below will make apartment hunting for a pet-friendly apartment go a lot smoother.
1. Use online tools to your advantage
Online tools like rental websites are ideal for searching for pet-friendly apartments.
Apartments.com, Trulia, and Craigslist are just a few examples of where you can weed out apartment listings that don’t allow pets. It’ll be disappointing to fall in love with a place only to find out later that they don’t allow dogs or cats.
Some sites, such as PeopleWithPets.com, have a list of exclusive pet-friendly rental places as well. Use sites like this to your advantage when hunting for the perfect pet-friendly home.
Not all apartment companies mention on their website whether they allow pets. When in doubt, call the leasing office to find out what their pet policy is.
2. See what the complex allows
If you find a complex you like and it says they’re pet-friendly, keep asking questions. Being pet-friendly in general doesn’t guarantee they’ll accept your pet or that the property meets your pet’s needs and your budget.
Ask about an apartment’s pet policy
A complex may also have a restriction on how many animals can live in the apartment. And, they may not allow certain dog breeds, such as Boxers and Husky breeds.
If you have a cat, you’ll probably have more apartment options, but if you have a dog (especially a large one), you might have trouble finding a place to live.
It’s not uncommon for a company’s pet policy to state that they don’t allow pets over a certain weight to live at the apartment. Typically, many places don’t allow animals over 20 to 50 pounds.
Keep in mind that some of these policies align with the size of the apartments offered. For example, you might think your Saint Bernard would be happy living in a 700-square foot apartment. That may be true, but the complex might require that you live in a larger apartment that might be outside your budget range.
Ask the management team about their pet policy. A few questions to inquire about include:
- Does your complex allow pets?
- Are there restrictions on certain breeds?
- Is my dog or cat too big to live in your apartments?
- I have more than one pet — how many can live in my apartment?
- Is there anything else I should know about your pet policy?
Inquire about any pet fees
Some apartment complexes require a pet security deposit and/or monthly pet rent.
Before committing, add up all of the apartment expenses.
If utilities, an upgraded apartment, and pet rent are beyond your budget, you may have to give up the upgrades.
It’s imperative to communicate with your leasing consultant throughout the rental process. Ask about any hidden fees before signing a lease agreement.
3. Check out the neighborhood
The location of your complex is just as important as the apartment complex itself.
Before narrowing in on a few apartments, check out potential dog parks, neighborhood parks, and other green spaces.
Find out where your dog can run off-leash and go on walks with you. You should also look for pet-friendly restaurants nearby, as well, since you’ll want to take your pet with you on some fun outings.
If you have a cat and would like your cat to have the option to roam freely outdoors, you should also check out the neighborhood. Learning more about the location will help you gauge whether your cat will be comfortable in the new area. Don’t forget to look into neighborhood and city ordinances.
You should also think about the proximity between your veterinary clinic and apartment.
If you’re new to the area and are looking for a new vet, check to see if there are clinics in the area. If you already have a vet you would like to continue use, consider that clinic’s distance to your new place as well. It’s also a good idea to know where the nearest 24/7 emergency animal hospital is.
Your veterinary doesn’t have to live next door to your apartment, but having one within proximity is an essential factor to consider. Have a backup vet if your apartment isn’t close to the clinic of your choice.
Similarly, if finding groomers and doggy daycares are also important to you, research their locations ahead of time too.
4. Put together a pet resume
If you’ve never heard of a pet resume, you may be scratching your head wondering what it entails. Just like you create a resume to use when you’re hunting for a job, it’s a good idea to create a fantastic pet resume.
Your pet’s resume will come in handy when the management team asks questions. The idea is to show off how well-trained and incredible your pet is.
Here are a few things you should include on the pet resume:
- Your pet’s name
- Proof of vaccines
- Disclosure of past incidents
- Current photo of your pet
Put together a fantastic resume that makes your pet look like the best dog or cat ever, and you’ll be all set.
Here’s an important thing to take note of: don’t create a humorous resume as apartments take renting to new tenants and their pets seriously.
5. Find out if the apartment fits your pet’s needs
One of the most important things to consider is whether the apartment will be a good home for your pet.
Ask yourself whether your cat’s favorite tree house will fit in your living room. If your pet needs to stay in the kitchen while you’re at work, decide whether there’s enough room. If space is small, you may want to go with another floor plan that has a bigger kitchen. A dog should have enough room to stretch his legs, especially if he’s going to be home alone a lot of the time.
Another thing to check in an apartment is window height so your animal can lookout. If the windows are too high up, that may be a problem.
Some animals are more prone to anxiety, and if that’s the case, you should know where you’re going to create a safe place for them to run and hide.
These factors shouldn’t be deal-breakers, but it doesn’t hurt to consider these things, especially if certain elements make a pet feel more at home.
Even though it may be challenging to find the perfect place for both of you to live, it’s possible if you do research ahead of time. An apartment may have everything you need, but you should still ask as many questions as you can think of ahead of time.
Remember, you’re not only searching for a place for you to live, but a home for your pet to hang out in too. It’s vital to choose an apartment that’s ideal for you both.
Cassie Avery has been serving Incline at Anthem as a Business Manager from the past many years. She has been in the industry from the past 8 years and is love what she’s doing. Apart from his work, she is happy in helping others. Besides, her property welcomes everyone who come to share its problems.