Apartment hunting is already a stressful process on its own, but finding a home that’s perfect for you and your pet is even more challenging. When it comes to finding a pet-friendly apartment, there are plenty of obstacles and tricks you should be aware of.
To make your search as easy as possible for you and your furry friend, here are our 3 favorite tips for finding a pet-friendly apartment.
1. Understand The Pet Policies
Unfortunately, renting with pets is not as easy as walking into an office and signing a lease. Most apartment complexes will have some form of pet policy. The pet policy will include things like:
- Breed restrictions: Breed restrictions are the first pet policy you should be looking out for. The list of restricted breeds will vary, but you’ll often see Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers on the list.
- Type of pets: The property may not allow certain pet types. Some may allow cats, but not dogs. Some may allow both cats and dogs, but prohibit birds and reptiles.
- Number of pets: It’s common for apartment complexes to limit the number of pets a tenant can have. A limit of two pets is usually standard with this policy.
- Weight restrictions: Weight restrictions can vary. It’s common to see weight restrictions of 50 pounds, and sometimes even as low as 30 pounds. Some complexes will allow larger dogs only on the first floor.
- Pet rent: Pet rent is an additional cost added to your monthly rent. Usually a small amount, but you might have to pay an extra $25-$50/mo.
- Pet deposit: When renting with a pet, you might have to pay a slightly higher security deposit to cover any potential pet-related damages.
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This may sound like a lot, but be sure to read the pet policy thoroughly. Humane Society has a great example of what a pet policy will look like.
2. Research the Amenities and Neighborhood
The apartment unit itself is one thing, but read up on what the property and neighborhood have to offer. This is crucial for dog owners.
Try to envision your life in the new home with your dog. Ask yourself: Where will I walk my dog? Where will my dog go potty? Where’s the nearest vet, groomer, and dog boarding?
Potty breaks are especially important to consider. For example, imagine living on the top floor of high-rise Denver apartments in the winter.
Are you prepared to take the dog down the elevator to go potty in the snow in freezing weather? If not, a ground-floor apartment or an apartment with a large enough patio for a grass patch should be a priority.
Secondly, look into the amenities your apartment complex offers. Nowadays, it’s common to find complexes that offer dog parks or dog runs on the property, or even dog washing stations! These on-site amenities can save you plenty of time in the long run.
Lastly, research what the neighborhood you are considering has to offer. Where are your nearest parks, vet, groomer, and boarding facilities? What dog-friendly activities are nearby? Google and Yelp should help you find great nearby pet businesses. BringFido has a great directory of off-leash dog parks by city.
3. Promote Your Pet
Painting yourself and your pet in the best light can boost your chances of landing the perfect apartment. Let’s face it if an apartment complex has two applicants, one with a pet and one without, they’ll likely prefer the tenant without the pet to minimize risk.
This is why it’s crucial to highlight your pet’s best attributes! We recommend creating a pet resume that includes things like:
- A cute photo
- A pet bio that includes your pet’s name, weight, breed, and personality traits
- Proof of vaccination records
- Any training certificates
Although it won’t guarantee you land the perfect pet-friendly apartment, it should definitely help your chances!
Finding a pet-friendly apartment for you and your pet can be a daunting task, but these three tips should help set you up for success!