Conducting a successful housing search
It's important to do your research when looking for pet-friendly housing. Here are a few things to consider when searching for a new home for you and your pet(s):
- Give yourself enough time. If possible, start your search at least six weeks before you plan to move.
- Focus on places that allow pets. Look for a community with pet-keeping guidelines that specify resident obligations. It's good to know upfront what will be expected of you as a tenant. Find housing that allows pets.
- Get permission for all types of pets, not just dogs. Don't assume that indoor cats or caged pets will be okay. Trouble (and heartache) arises when tenants are found to have pets without permission. Many landlords place restrictions on what types of pets you can have.
- Create a pet resume. Documentation showing you're a responsible pet guardian can be helpful, or even required, as you search for a new place. Your pet's resume might include information about obedience training or references from veterinarians, dog trainers, pet sitters, neighbors, previous landlords, etc. You should also include a copy of your pet's vet records and a short write-up about you as a pet guardian.
- Be prepared with temporary housing plans for your pet. You might not be able to find pet-friendly housing right away — have a backup plan in place. Ask a good friend or a family member if they'd be willing to temporarily care for your pet until you can find housing that allows animals.
- Be willing to pay a little extra. You'll likely have to pay an extra security deposit to cover any property damages your pet might cause. Be sure to discuss deposits and monthly pet-related fees in advance.
- Get it in writing. Once you've obtained permission by a landlord, manager, or condominium committee to have a pet, get it and any financial agreements in writing. Comprehensive rental agreements protect people, property, and the pets themselves. If your lease has a no-pets clause, it should be removed from the lease (or crossed out and initialed) before you sign it.
- Be honest. Don't try to sneak your pet in to any rental property. If you do so, you may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action.