A.D. Thompson

Is your pet part of the family? Can’t imagine your apartment without a furry companion? You’re not alone. According to the Humane Society, it’s estimated that 65% of households in the United States have a pet. It’s news that has apartment communities installing pet-friendly policies and even pet-owner perks, such as dog parks.

Despite this, there may be certain restrictions or financial implications when it comes to renting an apartment with a pet. So what do you need to ask to ensure your new apartment will accommodate you?

1) Are there additional deposits or monthly fees for pets?

It’s a fairly common fact that pets can cause damage to a rental apartment. Because of this, leases are more frequently asking for an additional “pet deposit.” Additionally, some communities also charge a monthly “pet rent” per animal in your apartment. Clarifying this before you sign the lease is essential, as it can impact your monthly expenses. Also, ask how the pet deposit is handled and if any or all of it will be refunded should there be minimal damage.

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2) Are there any breed or size restrictions?

Though it may seem unfair, particularly to dog lovers, many pet-friendly apartment communities have a list of “banned breeds”. Typically these are breeds that are deemed “aggressive” or “dangerous.” There may also be size restrictions for both dogs and cats based on weight. Your best practice is to always ask what could specifically imp your ct your pet your plan for one in the future.

3) Do you restrict any additional types of pets?

Some apartments have policies on exotic animals, such as snakes, birds, lizards or even some rodents. Additionally, some residential properties have restrictions on larger fish tanks for fear of floor warp or water damage. Again, being specific about your current and future pet situation is crucial to ensuring you won’t end up breaching your lease.

4) Are there any additional pet policies that I should be aware of?

In order to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone on the rental property, community managers often have a list of rules for pet owners to follow. Breaking these can occasionally result in fines, or in extreme cases, termination of your lease. Some typical rules might concern:

  • Barking dogs
  • Outdoor animal dropping fines
  • Leash and dog park facility policies
  • Outdoor cats
  • Collar, ID, vaccination and spay/neutering requirements
  • Additional cleaning requirements upon move-out

It’s never a bad idea to ask if you’re unsure. Ultimately, your new apartment rental isn’t only just a home for you, it’s a new home for your pet.

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About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.