Being forced to live without your pet can feel unimaginable. With 67% of US households owning a pet and COVID-19 increasing pet adoption rates to a new high, it’s hard to fathom pets could be turned away. However, there are certain stipulations you must keep in mind as a renter to find the most suitable home for you and your animal friend:

1. Ask about fees and restrictions before signing

Double check the lease and make sure you ask all the important questions before committing to a property. Things like type of animal, breed or size restrictions, as well as if there’s a limit to the number of pets allowed are essential elements to be aware of. Many properties are wary of allowing things like aquariums due to water damage or dog breeds like pit bulls due to “aggression.” It pays to be extra cautious of pet rules before signing the lease.

Also, inquire about any pet fees that may be included, as well as any additional fees should you have multiple pets. These fees could be nonexistent, required in a deposit up front, or paid monthly with rent. Make sure to be aware of state laws that may give landlords a maximum amount they can charge for pet rent.

2. Know the difference between “Pet Allowed” and “Pet Friendly”

Ensure the space is right for you and your animal. “Pet Allowed” plainly means your pets can live in your space with you without any additional accommodations. “Pet Friendly” properties include more pet-centered amenities and strive to be more accommodating for humans and pets. While this can make a more inviting pet-human community, “Pet Friendly” apartments tend to have more rules regarding breed and size of pets allowed.

3. Make sure your pet won’t cause harm

For the sake of other residents and their pets, make sure your pet is up to date on any vaccinations or parasite preventatives. Take regular visits to the vet to ensure the safety of your animal and those around you. Also, make training your pet a priority. Other tenants won’t want to deal with a nuisance of an animal, and your landlord might opt out of accepting misbehaving pets in the first place.

4. Happy pet, happy residents

You must have a solid understanding of your pet and it’s needs before committing them to live in a smaller space, like an apartment. By keeping pets healthy, happy and well nurtured, your landlords and fellow residents will thank you and want you to stick around. Establish a routine with your pet and make sure dogs in particular get plenty of exercise to avoid any unnecessary barking or disruptions. If barking becomes an issue, consider sound proofing (and a lot of chew toys) as a short term solution until pets have time to adjust into their new living space.

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