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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Renting a Condo with Pets

on October 22, 2021
| News

Whether you’re looking to rent a condo with your dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or any other four-
legged friend that brightens your day, there are a few things you should know about renting with pets.

In this post, we’ll provide some valuable suggestions for finding a great animal-friendly place,
the kinds of costs associated with renting with your pet, and how to negotiate with your
landlord if they’re not 100% on board with a furry roommate.
We’ll also give you some tips on moving with your pet and helping them adjust to their new
home with ease.

Finding the Perfect Pet-Friendly Condo

There are plenty of variables to consider when condo browsing, beginning with how you hunt
for pet-friendly apartments. When browsing for your next home sweet home, use a platform
featuring filters that allow you to narrow your search to pet-friendly rentals. Not only are sites
like these easier to use than hitting the local buy/sell/trade forums, but they’re also much
more secure.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other questions you may want to ask yourself when
looking for a great pet-friendly rental condo:

Do they have amenities geared toward making your furry friend happy?
When using a secure filtering platform to find condos, narrow your search down to display the
amenities offered in the community. Some have pet spas, dog parks, and even DIY grooming
stations to keep your pet content and pampered.

What locations suit us best?
When choosing a location, many find themselves in a more flexible position because remote
work has become so common. This flexibility allows many to put down roots in areas where
rental rates are less expensive. This could leave you a little wiggle room financially to splurge
on a place with great amenities for you and your fur baby.
If you prefer to walk, bike, or take public transport to go about your daily business, finding a
walkable community near public transportation stops is ideal.

How much space do we need to live comfortably?
Cramped quarters often make for a grumpy household! Whether it’s just you and your trusty
companion, or you, your trusty companion, and other humans, it’s essential to make sure
everyone has plenty of room to get comfortable.

Financial Factors for Your Consideration

Know your rights if you live with an emotional support animal. The Fair Housing Act clearly
states that ESAs are not considered pets in a housing situation under most conditions. As
such, under most conditions, your landlord can’t legally charge you a pet deposit, pet fees, or
pet rent.
However, they are within their legal rights to ask for a letter from a licensed mental health
professional to validate the necessity of an ESA. (This protects them against would-be
scammers claiming their animal functions as an ESA to avoid paying pet fees.)
If the above scenario doesn’t apply to you, it’s important to know about the following costs
associated with renting with a pet:

Pet Fees
When you sign your lease, the landlord will most likely require a one-time pet fee. Pet fees
aren’t usually as expensive as the pet deposit, but you won’t get it back upon the termination
of your lease.

Pet Deposit
Pet deposits are also due when you sign a lease. These provide monetary reimbursement to
the landlord for any potential costs associated with pet-induced damages.
If the condo is in the same good condition when you leave as it was when you moved in, your
landlord should return your pet deposit. Read the leasing agreement regarding pet deposits
carefully. Don’t be afraid to communicate with the landlord to ensure you’re on the same
page about getting your pet deposit back.

Pet Rent
Pet rent is just that: How much you’ll have to pay monthly for your pet to live in the
apartment.
A quick word on renter’s insurance and pet insurance for an ESA or SA:
Providing for any animal is an expensive, long-term investment. That’s especially true for a
trained service animal.

Since vet visits for your SA aren’t likely covered under your insurance policy, obtaining pet
insurance is recommended. Likewise, a renters insurance policy that protects you from any
pet-related liability while in your home may save you a lot of money in the long run.

Discussing Pet Policies with Your Landlord

Just as a landlord can’t legally charge pet fees for an ESA, the FHA states they must legally
allow your service animal to live with you. This applies regardless of their usual pet policies.
But again, they are within their rights to ask for an official letter validating your need to keep
an ESA. While most landlords are extremely accommodating, some will take advantage of any
potential “grey areas” regarding the circumstances around your needs. This also applies to
specific breeds that are considered “dangerous” such as pit bulls or rottweilers.
If your landlord states they won’t accommodate your service animal and are within their
rights to do so, don’t give up! Provide CV references or references from previous landlords
and have an open dialogue where you can answer any questions they may have about the
animal (without violating your legal right to privacy). Introducing your animal to the landlord
is an excellent way to show they’re well-behaved and worthy of the ESA title as well!
After getting the green light, it’s vital to get everything in writing to protect yourself from any
problems that may arise later.
Moving Day and Beyond

Lease: negotiated.
Pet fees: paid.
Fine print: read.
Now it’s time to pack up and get to your new home!
Moving can be pretty hectic, especially for our pets, who probably don’t know what all the
fuss is about. Put them at ease by keeping their routine regular. Schedule meals, walks, and
playtime as usual both during the moving process and after getting to your new place.
Also, familiarize them with their mode of transport if they aren’t already. For instance, if your
animal isn’t used to traveling in a crate and you’ll need to bring them in one on moving day,
make sure they get used to it first!

Settling In

After you’ve arrived, there are a few things you can do to make sure your pet transitions easily
from your old home to the new one:

● Situate your pet’s belongings in familiar spots. For instance, if you had your kitty’s
litter box in the bathroom at your old place, put it in the bathroom at the new one, at
least until she gets used to it.

● Let them explore their new home at their own pace. Of course, they’ll be curious about
their new home. It’s best to let them satisfy that curiosity on their own time in a way
that makes them feel safest.

● Pet-proof your home! Like small children, animals often get into things they shouldn’t.
Keep all toxic chemicals locked away, and be mindful of things like power cords and
houseplants, which can be dangerous if your fur baby chews on them.

Understand Their Needs and Behaviors

Unfamiliar settings may trigger anxiety in pets. Think about how that anxiety manifests in
your pet’s behavior and anticipate problems that may arise accordingly.
For instance, barking is a common anxious habit for dogs. If she barks when left alone in a
new place, there’s a good chance she’ll drive your new neighbors nuts, so you’ll have to work
with her to put her at ease.

Some animals chew to soothe themselves. If your pet chews or claws when anxious, they may
turn to things like door frames or carpets to satiate that. Keep in mind, if you’d like to get your
pet deposit back, it’s essential to get those behaviors under control.
Speaking of getting your deposit back, are you potty-training a puppy or teaching your kitten
how to use a litter box? Protect carpets by keeping puppy training pads and litter boxes in a
designated easy-to-clean (read: uncarpeted) spot.

Ask your veterinarian for some suggestions on working with your pet to reduce anxiety and
train them appropriately.

A Few Final Words

We hope the tips in this post help you and your furry bestie settle into your new home easily.
While renting with pets may require some extra care and responsibility (and money), the
unconditional joy and love an animal brings make that extra work well worth it.
For animal lovers, a house wouldn’t be a home without a four-legged friend to share it!

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