When you rent an apartment with a pet, there are some extra issues to consider before signing a lease. Even if you are thinking about getting a pet in the future but don’t currently have a furry friend, make sure you are clear on these topics with your landlord before you commit.
How will your pet weigh in?
If you find a pet-friendly apartment, ask if there are weight and size limitations for pets. Some apartments prefer small animals and only accept cats or dogs that weigh 35-40 lbs maximum. If you own a larger pet, you might be able to negotiate with your landlord by providing pet references from former landlords.
Expect to pay a pet deposit for renting with an animal. This protects the landlord in case your pet causes damage to the apartment. If you move out with no damage to the unit, you typically get the money back.
How’s the space?
Consider whether the interior of the apartment will work for your and your pet. How much space does your pet need indoors? Is there room for a crate or litter box? Does the apartment have hardwood floors that might get scratched or carpet that might get stained? Make a thorough exploration of the apartment and make sure you have enough living space for you and your pets to coexist comfortably.
Is there a “business” center nearby?
Living with any pet involves taking care of “business.” Whether that is cleaning a litter box or taking your dog for a walk outside, make sure you understand your apartment community’s policies regarding animal waste.
Also, find out whether your apartment has a designated pet walk area or if there is a dog park nearby. Make note of rules about disposing of dog waste and be ready to collect the waste with a bag. You should also consider how long it takes to walk to an area where your pet can do his business. If you have an elderly pet, you might want to get a ground floor apartment that is close to the pet area, so they don’t have far to travel.
It can be an added challenge to find a pet-friendly place to rent, but knowing what to ask a landlord and having an honest conversation about the pet policy will help guarantee that you and your pet find a comfortable and secure home that you can enjoy for a long time.
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