How to Find the Perfect Apartment for You and Your Pet

If you’re looking for the perfect apartment for you and your pet, you’re in luck. Pet-friendly apartments are easier to find than ever before. That’s great news! Because our pets are a huge part of our lives. So, whether your huggable bundle of love is a Saint Bernard, a Pit Bull or a lizard, there’s a pet-friendly apartment out there you can both call home. The key is knowing just how to go about finding it.

How to Find a Pet-Friendly Apartment

  • Start the hunting process early; way before you want to move. Give yourself at least six months, to keep your stress level down. This will allow plenty of time to thoroughly check out all your options.
  • Reach out to available resources. It may be helpful to get in touch with the animal care or humane society in the area you’re interested in. They should be able to point out apartment communities that allow pets. They may even know of any restrictions, such as weight limits and breeds/species allowed.
  • This may sound odd, but you’ll want to put together proof that you’re a responsible pet owner. The more documentation you have that shows you’re a conscientious pet parent, the stronger your appeal will be to the landlord. For example, a letter of recommendation from your present landlord, or the diploma from your pet’s training class, can go a long way.
  • Strut your pet! Seeing is believing. So, go ahead and set up a visit with you, your pet, and the landlord or property manager.  You can go to them, or even invite them over to your current home. And this goes without saying; make sure your pet is runway ready.

There are questions you’ll need to ask the landlord or property manager. Getting everything out on the table early will assure no surprises later.

Dog Friendly Apartments

Questions to Ask When Looking at a Pet-Friendly Apartment

  • Start off by asking what pets they accept. Some pet-friendly apartments only allow cats. Others allow dogs and cats, but only under a certain weight. Of course, if you own an exotic pet, like a snake or parrot, make sure to be perfectly clear.
  • Find out if there are breed restrictions. Some pet-friendly apartments have restrictions on the breed of dog allowed. For instance, they may exclude breeds prone to loud barking or aggressive temperaments. Pit Bulls are often excluded. We’ll get to that in a bit.
  • Ask about weight or size restrictions. Size is a very common parameter for rental apartments. It means you’ll need to think ahead. If your dog is a puppy today, will its full-grown size still come in under the restrictions? You don’t want any unexpected problems in the future.
  • The security deposit is another thing to consider. Does this community have an additional security deposit for renters with pets? Many do. You’ll want it perfectly clear what the additional deposit amount is and what types of damage would lower your chances of getting the deposit back when you move out.
  • Is there a pet fee? Many pet-friendly apartments charge renters a fee for each pet living in the apartment. If there is a fee involved, check if it’s a one-time fee or a monthly fee that you’ll be paying with each month’s rent.
  • Talk about noise. Pets make noise. If your dog is a barker, find out if it will turn into a problem. Ask about the limits of barking. How much barking is considered “too much”? What’s the warning policy if your dog gets too loud? At this point you may feel like you’re asking too many questions. You’re not.
  • Find out if there’s a pet-friendly outdoor area on the grounds. As a pet owner, you know that one of the best features of a pet-friendly apartment is the outdoor space. You need a safe place where your pet can do its business and run around and play. If there is a pet area, ask if your dog is allowed off-leash while there.

Apartments That Allow Pit Bulls

Finding a pet-friendly apartment that allows Pit Bulls or any often discriminated against breed, can be challenging.  Admittedly, it’s more difficult to find apartments that allow Pit Bulls. For owners of Pit Bulls, there’s a resource to help you find the perfect home for everyone. Check out My Pit Bull Is Family. https://www.mypitbullisfamily.org/

Can Apartments Deny Service Dogs?

According to Service Dog Certifications https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/landlords-service-dog/ , the answer is, no. A landlord cannot deny a service dog as they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  ADA.gov homepage

There are two designations for the wonderful pets that support us – Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal (ESA).  Both have special rights regarding housing. If you have a physical or mental disability that requires you to have either, you have rights under Federal Law. These rights include:

  • Access to “no pets” policy housing
  • Exemption from monthly pet fees
  • Exemption from a higher pet deposit
  • Exemption from breed or weight discrimination

You should know that the ADA does not put breed or weight restrictions on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. For this reason, a landlord cannot refuse you housing based on the breed, age, or weight of your assistance animal. Even so, there is one exception to this rule. If your animal damages property or disrupts or harms another tenant, you can be asked to leave.

One Last Tip for Finding the Perfect Pet-friendly apartment

As you ooh and aah over fantastic new apartments, don’t forget you’ll need a dedicated space for your pet’s things. You don’t want to be tripping over a pet bed or crate, or food bowls. And, of course, if you have a cat, make sure there’s a nice private place for the litter box.

It’s as easy as that! You’re all set to find that new pet-friendly apartment that you and your pet will thrive in.