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Renting With Pets

Rental Picture For pet owners renting can be difficult
Many landlords are reluctant to rent to tenants who have pets. Finding a rental can be even tougher for tenants with multiple pets and can be nearly impossible for certain breeds of large dogs.

Landlords who are willing to allow a dog or cat may draw the line at more exotic animals such as lizards and snakes. Many insurance companies refuse to insure landlords who allow certain breeds of large dogs, such as pit bulls and rottweilers. If you have this breed or something similar you may have difficulty securing housing and you may even need to purchase a separate Pet Liability Insurance Policy.

Plus, most landlords who do allow pets will be reluctant to allow puppies and kittens and you should too because they are most likely of all pets to damage the property because they are too young to know any better. If you can convince your new landlord to let you keep a puppy or kitten, begin training your new pet right away and set aside some extra money for the damage that is likely to occur.

Most landlords who are willing to allow pets will require you to pay either an additional pet deposit, a non-refundable pet fee, additional monthly rent, or some combination of the three.

In addition, you will be held responsible for any actual damage caused by your pet, and your landlord could sue you if this damage exceeds your security deposit.

Keeping a pet in the property even temporarily without your landlord's permission could be a breach of your lease and could allow your landlord to terminate your lease and sue you for damages and/or eviction. Keep in mind eviction makes it more difficult to find housing and does not relieve you from paying rent.

What is the best way to convince a potential landlord to rent to you?
  1. Be sure to provide exceptional references and a letter of recommendation from your current landlord showing a history of paying on time and that you can responsibly care for a property and animal.
  2. Setup rules you will follow to show your future landlord that you are a responsible pet owner.
    • If you have a dog, make sure to clean up its waste
    • Consider crate-training if you feel your dog may be destructive while you are not at home
    • Make sure your cat has access to a scratching post
    • Make sure that one or more litter boxes are readily available
    • Litter boxes will be kept clean so no odor will affect the property or other tenants
    • Regular vet visits for shots, fleas or what ever is needed
  3. Be more open-minded about the type of property that you are renting. A landlord will likely be more willing to allow a pet in a property with older carpet then a property with brand new carpets
  4. Be willing to pay extra. Whether it means paying a larger deposit, a non-refundable pet fee or slightly higher rent give the landlord an incentive to say "yes" and show that you have faith in your pet's good behavior
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