Pets are more than just furry, four-legged animals that bark or meow. They're part of the family and as such, they move where you move. When it comes to renting an apartment, you'll want to ensure that it not only allows pets but that it's pet-friendly.
Once you've found the perfect apartment community that warmly welcomes you and your pets, you'll likely be asked to sign a pet agreement.
While pet agreement contracts can vary by lease, they generally include the same information and let you know the restrictions and requirements for housing a pet. Contracts will vary, so there may be additional dos and don'ts in each pet agreement contract.
Contracts will often outline what the renter is expected to do when it comes to taking care of their pets. This includes things like house training your pet and keeping your pet on a leash. In most cases, the tenant will also be required to pay an additional pet deposit and even a monthly fee. The pet agreement will outline the monetary expectations agreed upon.
Pet agreement contracts will also talk about what the property owner is expected to do to maintain a safe space for pets and tenants. Management may have certain requirements in place when it comes to pet vaccinations, and you may be required to share medical charts and history with your property manager.
Depending on the apartment community, different types of animals may or may not be allowed. The agreement will also outline which areas of the property pets can and cannot visit.
You can download the following document and use this template as a guide. It will help you come prepared with any questions or negotiations you'd like to make. You'll review the contract with your property manager, make sure you're both on the same page and then sign the legal pet agreement.
This pet agreement contract is between [INSERT APARTMENT COMPLEX/PROPERTY NAME HERE] and [TENANT NAME] and concerns the pet(s) that will reside in the rental property. This agreement is legally binding and is an addendum to the rental lease between both parties.
Pet description and details:
Tenant must notify the property manager and receive written verification that the pet(s) is permitted to live at [INSERT APARTMENT NUMBER HERE]. Tenant must complete the following form for all pets residing on the premises:
Type of animal:
Current on vaccinations: Yes/No
Pet regulations and restrictions:
Tenant obligations and liabilities:
Management rights and obligations:
By signing below, you agree to all of the stipulations outlined by the property manager and apartment complex. Any violation of this agreement could result in eviction, damages and costs or attorney fee costs.
Now that you've sorted out the legal details and signed your pet agreement contract, you're good to go, right?
While you've technically done your part, you may want to consider a few extra steps to make sure you're a responsible pet owner and a great new neighbor.
Once you've settled into your new space, take the time to introduce yourself and your pet to all of your neighbors. Not only is it a friendly gesture, but you may discover that your neighbors have pets, as well.
Now, you've made a new friend and found a potential pet-sitter. If your neighbors don't have pets or don't like animals, you can keep this information in mind and avoid awkward run-ins.
Your neighbors don't need to be your best friends, but it's smart to know them well enough so you can have open and honest lines of communication.
For example, if your dog is barking like mad and it's driving your neighbor crazy, they should feel safe to give you that feedback and know you'll make the necessary changes. Or, if your dog needs to be let out during the day, knowing you can trust your neighbor to help you out is an added bonus.
If you're away from your apartment or at work during the day, you may consider installing a pet camera to check-in on your pet when you're not home. Pet cameras allow you to watch and listen to your pet and make sure they're safe and staying out of trouble.
If your pet happens to be making excessive noise or causing damage, you'll know and can immediately make plans to remedy the situation.