One of the potential drawbacks of renting a house or an apartment is dealing with pet restrictions.
Property owners often have good reasons for not wanting dogs on rental properties. For example, damage resulting from irresponsible dog owners may have soured the owner toward renting to people with animals forever.
Though finding a pet-friendly rental is not always easy, it is possible. Here are some ideas and resources:
- JustShelter.org has a search engine where you can find organizations working hard to preserve affordable housing, prevent eviction, and reduce family homelessness.
- People With Pets has a search engine where you can find pet-friendly apartments in your area.
- Pet Friendly Senior Living has a search engine where you can find housing for seniors where they can live with their animal companions.
- Rent.com also has a way to filter to see pet-friendly apartments.
- Check with your local homeless shelter (google “homeless shelters near me”, and ask if they have a pet-friendly housing list available to help you find a new home for your entire family, including your pets.
- Try to negotiate with potential landlords. Offer to pay a pet deposit or pet rent. Here are some other ideas for communicating with cautious prospective landlords.
- See if you can qualify to designate your dog as a service animal or emotional support animal. The Fair Housing Act ensures that an individual with a mental illness or mental disability does not experience housing discrimination because of their need for an emotional support animal or service animal. Housing providers must instead provide reasonable accommodations for these individuals and are not allowed to charge the individual any type of fee, such as pet deposits.
Apartments with Breed Restrictions
Certain dog breeds and their mixes are not permitted to live in living in certain rentals, regardless of their general pet policies.* That means that even if your dog is a “mutt”, he may be banned, depending on the various dog breeds in his mix. (if you’re unsure of your dog’s breed, get a DNA test done! It is tough to identify a breed or breed mix visually.)
What you can do
Getting around pet and breed restrictions as a renter is an uphill battle, but not impossible. Try writing a pet resume to include with your rental application so potential landlords can get to know your dog as an individual. You can also try offering to pay an extra pet deposit or pet rent or offer to obtain pet insurance. Or, as mentioned above, you could register your pet as an emotional support or service animal.
In any case, always be honest and upfront with potential landlords about dogs you intend to have in your home. It’s always better to get a refusal before you move in than to be evicted due to violating a lease.
*We at KeepYourDog do not endorse any form of breed discrimination. We believe that all breeds deserve loving homes. Each individual dog is just that – an individual – and should be treated as such regardless of breed.