What You Need to Know About Apartment Pet Policy

renting with pets

When you are a pet parent, finding a rental apartment can be difficult. Unfortunately, since several rental units don’t allow pets, or have a strong pet policy, some pet owners make the heart-wrenching decision to give up their pets to animal shelters. But this needn’t be the case; even if the rental options are limited, most renters do find a house that allows pets. As far as the pet policies are concerned, here is everything you need to know to find a rental house and be a good renter while staying with your pet.  

What Is A Pet Policy?

Understandably, many landlords are apprehensive about renting their homes to pet owners. They fear that the pets might cause damage to furniture and property or disturb the neighbors and attract complaints. While these incidents rarely happen, they do give pet parents a bad name. Thus, several landlords now include a pet policy in their apartment lease. These pet policies are rules and provisions within the lease that ensure certain expectations of the landlord are met as far as renting with pets is concerned. The policies mention things such as good pets for rental apartments, the size of the pet, the species of the pet, whether an additional deposit or fee will be levied for the pet etc. Let’s understand pet policies further and figure out how to get around pet restrictions.

Components Of A Pet Policy Apartment Lease

Whether your pet flies or swims, barks or meows or squeaks, slithers or hops, you must read your rental lease carefully before signing since it is a legally binding contract. Even if you don’t have a pet right now, but intend to get one soon, you should go through the pet policy and understand what the landlord expects from you. Here’s what is covered in it:

Types Of Pets Allowed:

This is where the landlord clearly states which pets are allowed in the house. Some pet policies might allow dogs while others may allow only cats. Some might mention that only hamsters or fish are allowed. You’ll have to read these carefully to understand if there are any restrictions on your pet/ future pet.  

Breeds Allowed:

Apartment pet policy breed restrictions limit the breeds allowed within a housing unit. Unfortunately, “dangerous” or “violent and unpredictable” breeds such as Mastiffs, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and American Bulldogs are the ones that face the brunt of this policy.

No Pets Allowed Policy:

This is a simple one. It means that no pets are allowed on the property under any circumstances.

Number Of Pets Allowed:

In an ideal world, where everything is rosy and charming, you’ll be allowed to adopt as many animals as possible! Since that’s not the case, this clause in your pet policy mentions the number of pets you’ll be allowed to have within the rental house. If you intend to add more pet children to your family, you’ll have to seek the permission/ approval of your landlord before doing so.  

Pet Weight:

Yes, this can be a clause too, which is often put in the policy due to the size of the rental unit. An example of this would be no pets over 30 pounds allowed, or no pets over 50 pounds allowed etc.

Extra Fees Or Deposits:

If the landlord intends to take pet deposits or charge monthly fees, it should be mentioned clearly in the lease. You can negotiate the fee or deposit with the landlord before signing the rental agreement.

Policy About Service Animals:

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landlords cannot implement a pet policy apartment lease as far as a service animal is concerned. In fact, landlords cannot prohibit a service animal from living on the rental premises, and, according to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), such animals are not subject to pet deposits or fees.

How To Be A Good Renter And Keep Your Landlord Happy

Finding rentals with pets allowed can be difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few things you can do to earn brownie points with your landlord:

  • If there are other tenants with pets on the premises, make sure the pets from both houses get along well. If they don’t, it’s a good idea to talk to the other tenant and sort out the pets’ schedules such that they don’t cross paths.
  • Ensure that your pet’s tags and licenses are in order and their vaccines are up to date.  
  • Showing pet reference letters from your current/previous landlord or neighbors is a good idea, albeit not compulsory.
  • Arranging a meet-and-greet session between the prospective landlord and your pet can assure the landlord how adorable your pet is!
  • Housebreaking or house-training your puppy or kitten is extremely important.
  • If you have a dog, keep it on a leash while using common areas.

Get Help From The Experts

From finding the perfect rental house where pets are allowed to guiding you with a pet policy apartment lease, we at Beach Front Property Management can help you navigate the tricky legalities of renting with pets. If you have any queries, feel free to schedule a 15 minute consultation call with us.  



Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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