Kathie Anderson

Broker

Renters - Living for Your Pet? Tips for Finding a Pet-Friendly Rental

 

Renters love pets and are doing their part to find a place to live that accommodates both them and their four-legged cohabitators. According to an Apartments.com survey of more than 1,000 renters around the country, nearly 90% of renters who responded said they have a pet. Of the renters surveyed that do not currently own a pet, more than half plan to become pet owners within the next year.

Pets are being made a priority by renters during their apartment search. More than 80% of respondents said a pet-friendly policy played a major role in where they chose to live and 30% sought out an apartment in close proximity to desirable pet amenities such as dog parks, walking trails and a veterinary office.

As devoted pet owners, renters are holding on to their felines and canines even when faced with obstacles during their apartment search. While the majority of respondents experienced difficulty finding an apartment that allowed pets, 89% said they were not put in a position where they had to choose between their beloved animal and a place to live.

Apartments.com has seen an upward trend of more and more properties welcoming pets. For survey respondents who said they were forced to give up their pet(s), the two main causes were identified as not being able to find an apartment with a pet-friend policy (65%) or not being able to afford the pet deposit (27%). More than half of renters surveyed said they paid more than $200 for a pet deposit, and nearly 60% said they would be less likely to rent an apartment requiring a pet deposit.

Millions of renters from around the country are in need of pet-friendly apartments. In 2008, more than 11 million searches for apartments that allow cats and dogs were conducted on Apartments.com. New pet owners looking for an apartment are encouraged to read the following tips prior to moving in to ensure they are familiar with the building's pet policy.

1. Ask Permission. Before you get a pet, ask your landlord's permission. There are many pet-friendly apartments available, but equally as many with a strict policy of "no pets allowed." If you have your heart set on getting a pet, be sure to communicate your plans to your landlord or property manager before signing the lease. It would be terrible to have to choose between your new best friend and the costs associated with breaking a lease.

2. Conduct an Online Search. Many online apartment search sites allow users to conduct a pet-friendly apartment search. Simply select the type of pet that you have - or that you're planning to get - in your search criteria and you'll be able to find apartments that allow cats, small dogs or even large dogs. Be sure to ask your potential landlord if there are any size or weight limitations. Some buildings may even prohibit specific breeds.

3. Pony Up for the Pet Deposit. Some apartment properties charge an additional deposit to renters with dogs, or may even ask for a monthly fee for pet rent. When visiting your potential new place, confirm any additional costs associated with owning a pet. Remember to also ask if the deposit is refundable or non-refundable.

For more pet-renting tips, read "Things You Need to Know About Living in an Apartment with a Pet" located in the "Apartment Living" section on Apartments.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.