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Finding Rental Homes for You and Your Pet

By Sadiya Anjum

When you start looking for rentals, begin your search with pet friendly rentals. But do not rule out listings which have no specifications regarding pets. Unlike before, many landlords today are willing to accept pets. Some of course will not even hear of it but most are undecided. If you do some groundwork you can let this undecided segment accept your pet.

If the landlord is willing to accept a pet, he probably has his pet policies in place and knows the right questions to ask. But for those landlords who are unsure, it is up to you to lead the way and show them why your pet will not be a nuisance.

    -   Be extremely polite and address the issue of a pet early so you can gauge the landlordís reactions. If he seems hesitant, then request for him to hear you out and meet your pet.

    -   Inform the landlord in advance and take your pet to meet him. If the landlord is extremely hesitant, take a picture of your pet to state your case.

    -   Highlight your petís strengths or even those factors that indicate that he is a no-nuisance animal; for instance he is old and prefers to sleep most of the time, neutered/ spayed, cleaned often hence no fleas, vaccinated etc.

    -   Take certificates from obedience school (if any) and references from previous landlords or neighbors about your petís behavior and mannerisms.

    -   Offer to pay a pet deposit and include clauses in your agreement regarding damages caused by pet, injury to others etc. Detail out what are the damages you will cover for so your landlord does not take advantage of a general clause and blame the pet for any and every damage.

    -   Provide him with details like how you will clean up after your pet, who will take care in case of your absence etc.

    -  Make it clear to him that you will follow his pet rules and policies. In case he seems clueless about it, ask him to contact a previous landlord who had pet policies that worked out well.

If your landlord still seems unsure, then address the issue and ask him for the reasons for his hesitation. Try and help him clear his misconceptions or rest his doubts. Explain to him logically not emotionally why having a pet is important to you. Some states have laws regarding pets in certain cases despite the landlordís no-pet-rule; for instance disabled people who require a pet or senior citizens living in federally funded houses etc.

If you manage to convince your landlord, then enjoy your privileges but stick to your promises. Approach this issue with a practical mindset as you need to understand the landlordís predicaments too. Remember that if a landlord has a bad experience because of your pet, then he will get biased and other pet owners will suffer in the future.


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