Some apartments forbid tenants from having pets. Other apartments may allow some pets, such as a cat or dog, or may restrict how large the pet can be. However, you might be surprised to find out that rules are not always set in stone—and you may be able to persuade a landlord to allow you to have a pet that would normally not be allowed.
1. Don't Sneak Your Pet In
Do not move a pet into your apartment without explicit and written permission from your landlord. If you do so without permission, you may be forced to pay fines and may also be evicted. An eviction on record will make it harder for you to rent an apartment in the future.
2. Explain Your Situation
If you already have a pet and you are looking for an apartment, tell the landlord about the situation. He or she may be willing to accept that you have a pet if you would be an excellent tenant otherwise. Provide the landlord with information on vaccinations your pet has, evidence that your dog has been trained, and recommendations from a previous landlord if you have any. Most landlords are concerned about dog ownership because irresponsible dog owners will allow their dogs to chew on the furniture, defecate on the carpet, bark at odd hours, or otherwise disturbing other tenants.
3. Introduce Your Pet
Oftentimes, allowing your landlord to meet your pet can help persuade him or her that your pet would be a good tenant. If your pet seems very calm, this can encourage your landlord to accept your pet. If you have a cat, show that you trimmed the cat's nails and that the cat won't be scratching your property. These are just a few ways to help your landlord warm up to the idea.
4. Offer Incentives
In some cases, you may be able to pay a pet deposit as well. This gives the landlord peace of mind because they will be covered if your dog causes damages. If your dog does not cause damages, you will have the deposit given back to you. Providing further incentives can make your landlord more willing to accept your pet. For example, if you offer to sign a lease for an additional year, this can encourage your landlord to let you keep your pet.
5. Certify Your Pet
If your pet becomes certified as an emotional support animal, the landlord may be required to allow you to keep your pet under U.S. law. This is important if you have a psychological disability or a mental health issue that benefits from owning a pet.
Hopefully, these tips will help you rent out an apartment you like and keep your pet. In the future, be on the lookout for pet-friendly apartments to minimize the amount of convincing you have to do before moving in.