They say moving is one of the most stressful of life’s events. Well, that’s made even more difficult by homes and apartments that don’t allow animals. What are you supposed to do if your new building won’t let your pup live with you?
Many renters have a tough time finding places that will accommodate them and their best friends. Fortunately, some persistence and due diligence can help change a landlord’s mind when it comes to banning animals.
Most Renters Have Animals, But Restrictions Are Common
According to The National Association of Realtors, animal-related considerations play a big role for 81% of U.S. households in choosing where they’ll live next. Still, banning animals from rentals is a very common practice.
Jam Stewart, vice president of corporate affairs for Mars Petcare North America, describes the conundrum:
“It’s a really tough situation to be in and actually gets exacerbated pretty quickly because if you can’t find a place to live, what happens with that animal? You may have to relinquish the animal … if that happens, what is the pressure that puts on the shelters or rescues? They may be full or may not have the ability to help with the animal so it really is a massive tension.”
In addition to individual leasing companies and landlords not allowing animals, some cities and states have their own breed restrictions. Still, no one wants to choose between having a place to live and their beloved dog. For those who couldn’t even think of surrendering, there may be other options.
Pet Resumes: What They Are And How They Can Help
Here’s one great way to chip at your new building’s anti-pet policies: make a pet resume for your dog. Just like a person applying for a job, pet resumes can indicate your dogs are good boys and girls who won’t cause problems. Plus, it lets you brag about what ideal housemates they are. For example, if your dog passes the AKC’s “Canine Good Citizen” test, that serves as a great certification. If they trained at an obedience school, that helps too.
You can also include details like whether your dog is spayed/neutered or if they have a microchip. Stewart explains:
“It’s really about trying to give that profile of what is your pet like. In addition, I think it’s super helpful [to provide details on] your local vet, that you have your licenses up to date. It really eliminates a lot of questions right up front.”
To be extra thorough, your pet’s resume can also indicate their schedule, like how much time they spend alone in the apartment each day. The key is answering questions before your landlord even asks them.
Preparing “Pet Interview” Questions And Answers
When conversing with your future landlord, do everything you can to assuage their concerns about animals in the residence. Mainly, these questions can make your landlord stop to consider what their objections to allowing dogs even are. Convincing them you’re a good dog owner and tenant could make them change their mind or allow exceptions.
Some good things to discuss with your landlord:
- Let them know how great you are at cleaning up after your animals and that you dispose of their waste properly.
- Tell them if your dog has no bite history and how they react to strangers in common areas.
- Ask if they’d prefer to establish a separate Pet Agreement.
- Describe how often your dog gets groomed.
For more examples of what to say, check out this sample pet interview. Don’t let a generalized clause get in the way of you and your best friend living together!