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Can I Have a Pet in My Apartment?

Cat and Dog Sitting Together

There are factors to consider when getting a new pet for your apartment. The two biggest being size and breed. Restrictions on size and breed are very common in lease agreements. Some breeds of dogs, unfortunately, are banned from many properties. Space requirements and your pet’s temperament are the biggest reasons for size restriction.

Make a Good Impression

One way to win the property manager over is to provide your pet’s resume. Pet resumes are now all the rage! More and more pet owners are creating resumes for their pets to prove to hesitant property management companies that their pets are well-behaved. Pet resumes should include references; consider a letter of recommendation from your vet or groomer. Get a signed letter from the previous property manager that says your pet is well behaved and not a bother to neighbors. The Humane Society’s website has a sample “letter of reference from a landlord” as well as a “sample resume” that you can use as a template. Provide vet records, your pet’s age, breed and activity level, and any training your pet has received. Why not bring your furry friend to meet them!

It’s not only on your pet to impress, but it’s also on you. Give property management companies and property owners proof that you’ve lived in a pet-friendly apartment before with no problems.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Provide?

Your prospective property manager may need to see your pet’s medical records. Get copies from your vet or have them transfer the records electronically to your new vet. You’ll also need to provide a new ID tag for your pet with your new address and contact information. Additionally, be sure to update the address information associated with your pet’s microchip. You should do this before you move because the chances of your pet running off or getting lost increase in unsettling situations, such as a move. You also may be asked to provide proof of any pet medications, vaccinations, and flea/tick meds.

Are There Extra Fees for Having a Pet?

Pet deposits are another thing to consider. The majority of apartments require that tenants pay a pet deposit fee, just in case your pet makes a mess! And monthly pet fees may also apply — think of your pet as a roommate and the monthly fee as their share of the rent.

Non-traditional pets may require a deposit, or may even be banned. Research ahead of time if birds, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, turtles, fish tanks, iguanas, and snakes are allowed. And just because you consider your cute tarantula your baby, it’s still considered a pet.

When most people put down a security deposit on their apartment, they usually expect to receive the full deposit at the end. Pet owners, however, need to be more proactive when it comes to caring for their apartment, especially if they want their full deposit back! Here are a few suggestions to help:

-Inspect and document everything when you first move in: scratches, wall and carpet conditions, counters, etc.  

-Clean up accidents immediately… or as soon as you “spot” it when you get home. It’s a good idea to have a portable wet vacuum on hand.

-Be proactive. Like parents making their homes baby proof, make your home furbaby proof.

Ask your leasing staff for the rules so that you are informed prior to moving in or adopting your pet! If there is a no pet policy, DON’T try to sneak in your pets. This will just end badly for all parties involved.

Apartments.com can make your transition as a pet parent an easy one by specifically targeting pet-friendly apartments through our easy-to-use pet-friendly filter. By simply selecting cats, dogs, or all, you’ll be on your way to a community perfect for both you and your pet.

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