Tips for Renting a Home When You Have a Dog

Renting a home when you have a dog can be difficult, even if you have the most well-adjusted, polite dog ever. Some owners flatly refuse to rent out their homes or apartments to people with animals. Others are willing to be persuaded if you can prove that you’re a responsible owner. Here are some tips if you’re a dog owner looking for a home to rent.

1. Start looking well ahead of moving time

If you leave it to the last minute to rent a home, you may not find a place you really like and be forced to compromise. You may even have to pay much more than you bargained for because you’re desperate.

Make sure you have plenty of time to find a place that suits you, your dog and your budget. Check out ads and contact rental agencies well before your lease expires.

2. Think about the surroundings

Make sure that there’s a suitable, safe yard for your dog. Find out if there are any nearby walks. Would you feel safe taking a night walk in the neighborhood? You don’t want to move in and find out the place doesn’t really suit you or your dog.

3. Sell yourself as a responsible pet owner

The landlord may be concerned about your dog barking and annoying neighbors or ruining carpets and causing other damage to his house. Reassure the owner that you’re a responsible owner, your dog is house trained, and you’re as concerned as him about cleanliness and good behavior.

4. Look for pet-friendly complexes

If you know of any rental agents who own pets and love animals, ask them for some leads. Your vet or local humane society may know about pet-friendly housing complexes in your area. When you search for rental homes online, make sure pets are allowed and find out what kind of restrictions may apply. Some complexes only accept smaller dogs under a certain weight, and some only accept certain breeds.

5. Prove how well your dog is trained

If you can prove you have a well-trained dog, you may just be able to convince the owner to rent to you. Your appeal is more convincing if you provide documentation. Provide a letter of reference from your current landlord that verifies you are a responsible dog owner.

Offer written proof that your dog attended training classes. You could even provide a letter from your vet confirming that your dog has received all the necessary medical care and has been spayed or neutered and is, therefore, calmer, healthier and less likely to be problematic. Bring your freshly groomed, well-behaved dog to meet the owner as your trump card.

6. Get it in writing

Once the owner has agreed, make sure to get it in writing. A verbal agreement is not enough. You can add an addendum relating to your right to have a dog on the premises to your rental agreement. When everything is in writing, the owner, renter and the dog are all protected.