5 Apartment Hunting Tips for Pet Parents
When I moved into my first place, there was no question that my dog would be coming with me. She was a medium-sized poodle, and she was my best friend. I sat down with the classified ads and began to make a list of places that I could afford – and as a student, that was not a long list.
As I began to call potential landlords, a familiar pattern emerged. The conversation went along well enough, until I told them I had a dog – you’d think I was a telemarketer calling at dinner, the times I got hung on! Finding a place to live with a dog was proving to be a near impossible task.
That’s when I altered my approach. I called up potential landlords and told them I had a small, well trained, non-shedding dog. At least this time they didn’t hang up on me! I went into detail of our routine each day, and the training that I had done with my dog. Upon demonstrating that I was a responsible owner, I was able to prove that I could also be a good tenant.
Here are a few tips I learned from being a tenant in the apartment hunting game:
- Present your best self. In order to find the best tenants, landlords have a big job of weeding people out. That means from the very first contact they have with you they will be assessing you, and your pet as potential tenants. First impressions are everything.
- Skip the big guys. Big leasing companies have policies that are already set. Smaller landlords have the flexibility to bend the rules if they want to. If they like you, they’ll be more willing to give you the key. (See Number 1!)
- Have references for your pet. These may include references from your current neighbors who can attest to your dog being a good neighbour, as well as your doggie daycare or your veterinarian. Be sure to include the fact that your pet is up to date on their shots. Bonus for including any training you have completed together.
- Arrange a meeting. Offer to arrange a meeting with your landlord to meet your pet. Some landlords may not have time for this, but if they do, ensure your pet is well groomed and on their best behavior.
- Money talks. Offer to include an extra damage deposit for your pet. Many municipalities already have legislation outlining how much a landlord can charge. Offering to pay a damage deposit helps show your landlord that you are a responsible tenant.
As pet owners, we understand that our pets are our families. Landlords may not understand the special bond you have with your pet, and that’s okay. It’s up to you to show them that you are responsible pet owner. You are an ideal tenant because you take care of your responsibilities; this includes taking care of your rental home.
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!
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