I’m a pet lover. I have two cats right now and I can’t wait to get a dog. I want to rescue some big dogs and let them roam around and live easy. But for now, my budget requires me to live in an apartment, and I agree that I like the convenience of having a maintenance crew come out for free when, oh, say, the microwave starts shooting sparks at me. I’ll probably have at least one more apartment before I settle down and buy a house, and the ability to have my pets is a must – my cats come as part of package. However, some landlords are hesitant to accept pets, but there are some ways to convince them to change their minds.
1. Pick the battles
Apartment complexes that are managed by outside, corporate management facilities have policies that are generally non-negotiable. If the apartment complex is managed by one of these large corporations and they have a no-pet policy, move on to the next place. Also, don’t sneak pets into any apartment complexes, as this will lead to big problems down the road.
2. Have the papers
Landlords or apartment complexes that are hesitant to accept pets might have liability concerns. If a dog gets out and bites another resident, it might put the complex in the middle of a legal situation. Having updated papers for the pet showing rabies shots and if the pet is spayed or neutered might go a long way to making the landlord feel more comfortable allowing the pet or pets.
3. Be prepared to pay
A lot of sites will require a pet deposit in addition to the regular deposits to help cover the cost of pet damages. Because, let’s be honest, pets mess stuff up. And it might just be the sofa, but there’s a good chance it will be the carpet or the door frames. And if the pets have accidents, the smell of urine and feces can be very difficult to get out. So, if the landlord is hesitating, offer to pay an additional deposit to see if that will help calm the landlord’s fears.
4. Pets catch rodents
This is especially true for cats. In my old apartment, there was a lot of construction going on, and our third-floor unit had a mouse problem. The only reason I knew this was because my cat, great hunter that she is, caught the mouse and brought it as a gift. She is strictly indoor, so I knew it came from the apartment. We couldn’t find the source of the mice, but my cat did – I saw her smashing herself behind the oven and coming out with a (still alive) little mouse. I was then able to tell the apartment and we got the problem fixed, but the mice would have gone unknown for quite some time if I didn’t have a cat. If I was lucky enough to be looking at apartments in Orlando or somewhere else tropical, I’d have my windows open all the time and I’d need my cat to catch birds.
5. Respect breed restrictions
This more applies to dogs and exotic pets. Some landlords have a no dog policy because they’re not comfortable with certain breeds, but if the dog isn’t a dog that usually appears on the “restricted breeds” list, it might be worth talking to the landlord about the dog. Also, it’s possible to negotiate about “exotic pets” as long as the landlord is willing to talk respectfully with the tenant about the situation.