5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Pet-Friendly Apartment

The benefits of owning pets are hard to match. Our cats, dogs, birds and other little animal friends give us unconditional love, loyalty and companionship. They can be a valuable source of emotional support during hard times, and can even bring health benefits, like lowered blood pressure and increased immunity.

But if your family includes some four-legged, furry members, you already know how hard it can be to find a decent rental that allows pets. That’s especially true if you have multiple or large pets. But just because it’s time to find a new place doesn’t mean you have to part with your best friend or friends. It’s possible to find a great place that allows pets — if you follow these five steps.

Start Looking Early

Most people who fail to find accommodations that allow pets leave their rental search until the last minute. Don’t wait until the week before your lease is up to start looking at apartments. Leave yourself at least six weeks to look for an apartment that allows pets. Two months may be more appropriate, especially if you have multiple pets or large pets. The more time you leave yourself, the more discriminating you can be in your apartment search.

Limit Your Search to Places That Allow Pets

If you know you need a place that allows pets, it doesn’t make much sense to look at apartments that don’t allow pets, does it? If you’re thinking about trying to talk a landlord that doesn’t allow pets into making an exception for your pet, think again. Landlords and property managers have their reasons for not allowing pets, and you’re not likely to change anyone’s mind.

You’ll have much better luck if you stick to only looking at listings that allow pets. Don’t waste your time; make sure pets are allowed before you even look at a listing. For example, search for pet friendly apartments for rent in Omaha, if that’s your city of residence, and verify with the landlord or property manager that pets are permitted before you view the property.

Show That You’re a Conscientious Pet-Owner

Landlords have various reasons for being hesitant to rent to tenants with pets, and all of them have to do with a prospective tenant’s level of conscientiousness regarding the care of their pet and its behavior. Be prepared to show your prospective landlord or property management company that you’re a responsible pet owner. Assure your prospective landlord that your pet is trained, housebroken, vaccinated, treated for fleas and generally well-cared-for.

Get Your Documents in Order

Bring shot records and proof that your pet is spayed or neutered to reassure your prospective landlord that a litter of puppies or kittens won’t send the number of animals in your unit skyrocketing. If you have a dog, showing your landlord proof that your dog has completed a training course can reassure him or her that your pet is potty-trained and well-behaved. A canine liability insurance policy is useful to set your landlord’s mind at ease about any liability that could result from dog bites.

A reference from your veterinarian can vouch as to your level of responsibility as a pet owner, as well as your pet’s general behavior, energy level, grooming and cleanliness. A letter of reference from your previous landlord can also go far in assuring your prospective landlord that you and your pet will be good tenants.

Promote Your Pet

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Some humane societies recommend putting together a pet resume that can help prospective landlords get to know your pet. Include a photo of your pet, along with:

  • His or her name, age and breed
  • His or her spay or neuter status
  • His or her shot records and history of obedience training
  • A description of his or her temperament, including housetraining or litter box training
  • Contact information for your pet’s groomer, veterinarian, pet sitters, dog trainers, previous landlords and others who have interacted with your pet

In addition to information about your pet, your pet’s resume should showcase your diligence as a pet owner. Describe how many times a day you walk your pet or how often you clean the litter box. Point out that you pick up after your dog when he relieves himself outside and that you trim your cat’s claws and provide scratching posts to discourage destructive scratching.

If possible, bring your pet to meet your prospective landlord. Some landlords may be open to pets, but on the fence about some breeds that have a bad reputation, such as pit bulls. Introducing your pet to your prospective landlord will allow him or her to hopefully form a good opinion of your pet’s temperament.

Finding a great place to rent when you have pets may be a little more complicated, but it’s certainly not impossible. Pet owners often make great tenants because they appreciate a landlord who’s willing to take a chance on them. Stand firm on your resolve to find a place that allows pets — your furry friends deserve it.

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