12 Tips When Looking For Apartments That Allow Dogs
March 14, 2022
For dog owners looking for apartments, it can be difficult to find apartments that allow dogs. It’s even more difficult to find an apartment that has no dog breed restrictions, no additional fee, and a pet-friendly surrounding area for your dog to run around and play.
For many apartments, you’ll find that dogs are allowed but there are certain restrictions on what dogs you can bring in. The typical restrictions include:
- The number of pets permitted. You can’t keep as many dogs as you want in an apartment. There will probably be a limit set by the landlord to one or two dogs with a need to ask for permission if you want to get another one.
- Breed restrictions are in place. As much as dog owners love apartments with no breed restrictions, many of them do. Breed restrictions are a prohibition of certain dog breeds that are deemed to be aggressive. These breeds are typically large dogs like Huskies, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Mastiffs.
- Requirements for pet weight. Several pet policies specify weight limits for pets such as no pets can weigh over 30 pounds or 100 pounds. Weight criteria can be used as a backdoor technique of excluding some breeds without imposing a formal breed limitation.
- Extra Charges for the Pet. There can be extra fees for keeping a pet in an apartment. The fees can be an extra pet deposit fee or an additional monthly rate.
What Are Breed Restrictions?
Owners and real estate managers use breed restrictions to exclude particular animal breeds, most often dogs.
Big apartment communities are the most likely to have these restrictions, but they can be implemented at any rental.
Dog breeds that are seen as huge, loud, aggressive, or unmanageable are usually the ones subjected to breed restrictions. Dogs might be restricted based on their weight, size, breed, activity requirements, or age.
It is up to the owner to decide which breeds are prohibited. They have the freedom to prohibit whichever breed they want, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas.
Service animals, on the other hand, are not subject to breed restrictions. Even if the service dog is on the prohibited list of dog breeds, they are still able to live in an apartment with their owner.
Breed restrictions make it difficult to find apartments that allow large dogs and that’s on top of the stipulations that many apartments already have for having pets in general. If you are searching for an apartment that allows dogs then here are 12 tips to make the search go a lot smoother.
12 Tips To Find Pet-Friendly Apartments For Dogs
1. Be Honest
Don’t attempt to smuggle your dog into your apartment. Having a pet in an apartment that has a no-pets restriction can lead to eviction or even other legal consequences.
2. Give Yourself Some Time
The search for an apartment will be all the more stressful if your lease is contracted to end before you find another place to move into. The last thing you’d want is to be homeless while you are trying to find an apartment. It’s best practice to begin searching for a new apartment months in advance and at minimum six weeks before your current lease ends.
3. Understand Why Landlords Are Hesitant With Dogs
As much as we love dogs, it’s no secret that they take a lot of work to train. Dogs can be aggressive, un-potty trained, and disruptively loud. A landlord may have had bad experiences with dogs in the past which have led them to be skeptical of dogs in their apartment complex. Presenting yourself as a respectful and courteous dog owner can be the difference between a landlord choosing you for an apartment instead of someone else.
4. Use The Resources Around You
The local humane society and animal care and control agency may be able to give you a list of pet-friendly apartment developments if you contact them. Real estate agents, rental agencies, and residential supervisors with dogs of their own or who share a love for dogs may also be able to help you find great apartments for dogs. There are also community apartment handbooks that you can find at stores or near newspaper vendors on the street that may include which apartment communities in the area may be no breed restriction apartments and which may have many restrictions.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Effort In a No-Pets Policy
If an apartment has a no-pets policy, then there may be nothing you can do to convince the owner or manager to make an exception for you. It’s a better use of your time and energy to focus your efforts on apartments that accept different types of pets like apartments that allow large dogs, small dogs, and no breed restriction apartments.
Ideally, you should look for apartment complexes that have guidelines for keeping pets and a community of pet owners that are already established. That way you know that there are efforts to make the place suitable for pets and their owners.
6. Show Documentation That That Your Pet Is Well Behaved
Provide physical documentation to the landlord or manager to prove that your pet is well-trained and behaved. The proof could look like:
- A reference from your current or previous landlord attesting to your responsibility as a dog owner.
- Proof that your puppy or dog is enrolled or has finished a training course.
- Documentation from a veterinarian that states that you have taken good care of your dog and that the dog has been neutered or spayed. Provide documents that show a history of vaccinations, especially for rabies, may also ease the landlord’s mind.
7. Write a Request For Approval
Sometimes it can benefit you to send a written request to the individual or group who has the final say on whether or not you can bring a dog into the rental.
The final say will usually be given by the owner but sometimes they delegate the choice to the property manager or resident manager. For a condo community with an HOA, you may have to write to a board of directors as well.
8. Demonstrate Good Hygiene Practices
Part of the reason that owners and landlords don’t want dogs in their rentals is that many dog owners fail to clean and pick up after their dogs. The last thing anyone wants is to step in dog excrement that was left on the sidewalk or grass. You can reassure the landlord or owner by demonstrating that you are a responsible owner who takes care of their dog scrupulously.
9. Reassure Your Landlord About Your Pet
The best way to reassure a landlord or owner about your dog is by letting your dog’s behavior speak for itself. A well-behaved and clean dog will say a lot on its own. Along with documentation and emphasizing good hygiene like in the previous tips, you should also reassure them about separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is when a dog gets too attached to their owner and gets overly anxious if left alone. A dog suffering from separation anxiety will bark, howl, and whine excessively, which can disrupt the daily lives of nearby tenants. Sometimes they can even pee or defecate throughout the rental as well. In many circumstances, separation anxiety can be the deal-breaker for any landlord or owner of a rental.
10. Be Prepared To Pay a Bit More
The majority of pet-friendly homes charge an additional pet deposit along with a monthly rate that ranges from $25 to $100. However, these fees differ by state and the rental property itself. If you are trying to bring a dog into an apartment with a no-pets policy, you can also offer to pay more to cover any potential damages your dog could cause.
11. Get The Permission In Writing
If the landlord has given you the approval to keep a dog, make sure you get it in writing. Landlords typically use an pet Addendum which gives the tenant written permission to have one or more pets on the rental. If the apartment usually prohibits dogs, a verbal agreement will not be enough. You need the permission in writing and make sure that any no-pets policy has been blacked out or removed from the documents.
12. Ask About Dog-Friendly Areas
Dog-friendly apartments can sometimes have a variety of different areas made specifically for your pet. There are dog-walking areas, free poop bags, and pet cleaning stations that may be available on the property. If you’re new to the area, then you may not be familiar with nearby parks or fields that you can take your dog to.
The landlords should be familiar with the surrounding area and should be able to let you know about all of the pet-friendly areas that are available for your dog. They may even be able to help you get a rental with a great view for your dog or with a balcony.
As a dog owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. It may seem inconvenient or difficult to find a dog-friendly apartment in your search but if you know where to look, there are loads of opportunities for you and your dog to live comfortably in a rental.