5 Important Tips for Renting with Pets

Story Highlights
  • #1 -- Stick with pet-friendly places
  • #2 -- Ask first
  • #3 -- Show that you are responsible
  • #4 -- Gather references
  • #5 -- Propose a trial period

Most people can’t bear the thought of moving without their furry friends. Pets become family to animal lovers and of course, you can’t leave family behind when you move!

Finding pet-friendly properties is not always the easiest task. It takes a bit more time, more research, more organizing, and often, lots of persuading. And, in the end, it can be rather limiting to many renters.

There are, however, a few things that you can keep in mind the next time you’re out property hunting to ensure that you are well-prepared to find a safe haven for yourself and your pets:

Renting with Pets Tip #1 — Stick with pet-friendly places

Duh – this is the best (and most obvious) way to rent a property when you have pets!

Refine your search and narrow it down to properties that allow pets and that are pet-friendly. If you work with like-minded animal lovers, you are bound to find a perfect spot without any hassles or too many negotiations.

By starting with this step, you can forget about the rest of the list, because this truly is the most foolproof way of renting with pets.

Renting with Pets Tip #2 — Ask first

We know it kind of sounds like your mom telling you to ask other people first before you do something in their houses, but most of the time, moms are right.

If you are already a long-term renter, it would be a better idea if you ask your landlord what his particular rules or preferences about pets are. You might have signed a lease where the agreement was that there would be no pets, but he might be willing to change his mind once you ask.

Similarly on a sidenote, if you are a landlord, make sure to be clear about the rules to your tenants and consider how it would change the dynamics on your property if you had pets.

Renting with Pets Tip #3 — Show that you are responsible

Pet owners often have a hard time finding a new place to live because pet-friendly properties are rather rare to find.

So, when tenants finally do find a place to live where their fur-babies can live as well, these tenants tend to stick around longer and they are better tenants!

And that’s something the landlord is very well aware of as well (especially when they’ve tried to sell a property with pets before), so make sure to discuss this with your landlord and show that you can take responsibility for your pets.

This includes honesty too: don’t try and sneak a pet onto the property. The landlord will find out about this and it may very well mean the end of your lease!

Renting with Pets Tip #4 — Gather references

This might sound really tedious, but gather references for your pet as it will show your (potentially new) landlord that you and your pets can be trusted. This way you can prove that your pet has been well-behaved in the past, which is even better for you in the long run.

Along the same lines, try and get medical records from your vet to prove that your animals had all their shots.

And it’s never a bad idea to actually introduce your pet to the landlord as well, especially if it is a pet that is well-behaved and adapts well to new people and/or surroundings.

Renting with Pets Tip #5 — Propose a trial period

In the end, if a landlord is uncertain about whether or not he should allow pets on his property, you can suggest a trial period.

It’ll give them time to observe the animal and if they are satisfied, they can amend the rental lease contract.

Be sure to tell your landlord that you want the trial period in writing and if it becomes a permanent agreement, that he should add it to the actual rewritten contract. This makes it clear when the trial period starts and stops, and when the contractual clause of keeping a pet on the property kicks in.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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  1. Thanks for the article. As a renter I have always found that it’s near impossible to find a place where pets are allowed. This unfortunately seems a fact in SA. I have friends & family who live overseas & all are allowed pets! Why are we so intollerant? It’s a very sad state of affairs.

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