Sunday, March 3, 2013

Finding a Place to Live that Allows Pets

Finding a place to call home is one thing, but finding a place that you and your furry family members can call home is quite another. So before you resort to keeping Fluffy at your parents house for the next few years while you live in solitude, consider some of these tips:

1.) Plan ahead. House hunting for an apartment that allows pets is not something you want to put off until the last minute. Since many places don’t allow pets, your selection pool is going to be more limited, which means your timeframe needs to be more spread out. You might find the perfect place, only to learn that it isn’t available for another month. If you’ve done your homework, you might be able to find a way to hang around for a month before your new place is ready.

2.) Be honest. It’s never a good idea to try and sneak in your pet to a place that doesn’t allow animals. Besides the fines and possible eviction or legal action, you also make it more difficult to find another place after this one. People will be much, much less likely to rent to you after they receive a poor recommendation from your current landlord. Plus, if you are working with an agent that is searching for a place for you, this lets them focus on pet friendly options instead of wasting their time with apartments that would never allow it.

3.) Be ready to pay extra. Let’s be honest: pets do damage. Dogs and cats often chew, scratch and claw their way around a home, and it’s incredibly difficult to get animal waste products out of any carpet. In addition, dogs bark, cats meow, and thin walls mean everyone can hear it. So even if your pet is the most well behaved animal on the planet, you have to be understanding as to why a landlord might require a higher monthly payment.

4.) Introduce your pet. Allowing your landlord to meet your pet will help put their mind at ease. Having a well-behaved pet will do wonders in this situation. It will also give your landlord a chance to judge the size and potential damage of your family member. A small, old, well-behaved cat is not nearly as much of a risk as a large, out of control St. Bernard puppy.

5.) Use your resources. Your local animal shelter or humane society might have a list of pet friendly rental communities. Check with friends, family members or coworkers that have pets and ask them how they found housing that allowed animals. And don’t be afraid of looking on the internet; even searching Google for pet friendly apartments in your area is sure to yield some favorable results.

6.) Get it in writing. Your lease specifically says no pets, but you and your landlord have reached a verbal agreement. Good enough, right? Wrong. Get it in writing. All your landlord needs to do is cross out the ‘no pet’ line and initial next to it before signing. Otherwise you could face a serious headache when trying to get your deposit back later.

Do you have any pets?


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