Moving is usually a big deal and needs to be planned well in advance, but when you have pets, it can be harder than usual.
If your dogs are family, finding a pet-friendly rental is non-negotiable, but sometimes options seem limited.
If you’re searching for a new place for you and your fur kids to call home, the following tips will help.
Don’t misrepresent your dog
First things first: Never claim your dog is a service dog or emotional support animal (ESA) if that’s not the case. While ESAs are not trained service animals, they do have protections under the Fair Housing Act, which requires landlords to accept them with proper documentation. As with service animals, landlords must also waive pet fees and deposits for emotional support animals.
Many people rush to register their dog as an ESA just to get around a landlord’s “no pets” rule, but if you do this, it could come back to hurt you if anyone finds out.
If you really need your dog as an ESA, by all means, register them and get the proper paperwork in order. However, don’t do it just to get into a house. You never know when a landlord might dig into your social media posts and find out about your plans. If they can prove you misrepresented your dog to skirt their rules, they can legally evict you.
Don’t settle for a cramped pet-friendly space
You might find plenty of rental units advertised as “pet-friendly,” only to discover that there really is no room for your dog. The backyard might be too small for even a small dog to run laps. That’s not usually a problem if you can take your dog out for daily walks and weekend trips to the dog park. However, if you work full-time and don’t get out very often, make sure the pet-friendly place you choose has adequate space for your dog to run around, even if under your supervision.
Consider moving further away
Moving further away is usually a last resort when someone can’t find a pet-friendly house, but there could be other benefits. For instance, you might find a better house, a nicer neighborhood, or a more interesting job outside your current area.
If you’re struggling to find the right house for you and your dog, moving further away might be your only choice. Even if you don’t like the idea right away, do some searches and see what’s out there. You just might find your dream home in a city you never expected.
Find housing with an on-site dog park
Believe it or not, some housing complexes have an on-site dog park. They’re not too common outside of major cities like Los Angeles, but they do exist. If you happen to find one of these places, you’re probably already in a dog-friendly area.
Dog parks that are part of a housing complex do come with rules, so be prepared to follow them to the letter. Unlike a public dog park, if you break the rules, you’re probably violating your lease. Remember to clean up after your dog and never depend on the park to supply poop bags. Just because there are dispensers on the property doesn’t mean they will be full all the time.
Ask if the landlord will make an exception
Last, but not least, if you aren’t having any luck finding a pet-friendly place, start asking landlords if they’ll make an exception to their no-pets policy. This probably won’t work if you’re looking at apartments since the landlord would need to make an exception for everyone. However, if you’re trying to rent a house, it’s possible.
Offer the landlord an extra deposit for your dog, and if that doesn’t work, ask if they’ll accept pet rent. Many landlords have started charging pet rent as a standard practice, and in most areas, it’s perfectly legal.
Sometimes property owners can be swayed by the promise of extra income and if you’re short on time and have limited options, it’s worth the extra cost.
Dog-pawsitive rentals are out there – keep looking
If you’re struggling to find a place that will accept your dogs, keep searching. There are plenty of landlords who accept pets. If you can’t find anything and landlords aren’t willing to make exceptions, expand your search into nearby cities to increase your chances of finding your new home.
Originally posted 2023-04-27 23:28:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter