Tips For Tenants With Pets

Published on Jul 29, 2022


Finding a new place to live can be a headache even if you don’t own any pets. Most of the country is experiencing a housing shortage which can add extra stress with more tenants competing for fewer homes. This means landlords can be more selective about who they choose to live in their properties. For pet owners, this can mean they might be passed over in favor of a tenant without any pets. Here are some tips when searching for a home with pets: 

Plan ahead

When you have a pet it’s essential to plan ahead when looking for a place to live. That’s just in normal times. When you’re searching for a place to live with a pet in the middle of a housing shortage, you’ll want to give yourself extra time while also having a backup plan if you can’t find a place to live in time. Give yourself a runway of at least 30 days and possibly 60. You’ll also want to have a backup plan like a short-term rental or renting a room instead of your own home or apartment. 

Consider the outdoor space

Take a look around the yard or the common grounds and see how secure the area is. If you have a dog, you’ll want to make sure it’ll be difficult for your dog to get out. Consider the traffic and how busy the street is as well. If your dog does get out, you don’t want him running in the street and getting hit by a car. Take note of the plants on the property and make sure they aren’t poisonous. If you have any questions about whether or not they could be harmful, check with the landlord or research the plants online. 

There’s also a neighborhood factor to consider. Are there good places for you to walk your dog? Are there any dog parks or open spaces nearby where you can let your dog off their leash? Is there anything nearby that could cause an increased stress level for your pet? 

Think of alternative options

When it comes to leasing a home with a pet, it can get tricky. A lot of landlords will refuse tenants with pets outright and in a tight housing market, you may need to consider alternative options. One option is to look for accessory dwelling units that are leased by homeowners who live on site. They may be more lenient when it comes to leasing to pet owners. You can also consider renting a room from a homeowner looking for a roommate. 

Prove you’re a responsible pet owner

There are a number of reasons a landlord would choose not to lease to a pet owner. It could be because of the damage a pet can do to the property. They could chew up the walls and ruin the carpet. They could scratch the floors. They can ruin the screens. There are also other factors to consider. There’s the health and the safety of the neighbors and other tenants. There could be concerns about the noise factor. For example, a landlord may be concerned a dog will bark and annoy the neighbors. 

One way to ease the concerns of a landlord is to show you are a responsible owner. Show you have vaccinated your pet. Show all the medical records and if you have microchipped your pet. If you’ve sent your dog to any type of training or obedience school, you can show receipts or documents to a landlord as well. There’s no guarantee a landlord will change their mind about having a pet on-site, but it’s worth the effort especially if you are struggling to find a place to rent.

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