Tips For Renting With Pets

It's easy to understand why landlords might be reluctant to allow pets: They can damage property, keep neighbors awake and create a mess if not picked up after.

Here are some tips to help you convince your landlord that you'll be a good tenant, and so will your pet. ...

Check the Rental Agreement

You'll need written approval from your landlord before you can have a pet in your apartment, so check the rental agreement first before getting a pet. You may also be limited on the number of pets you can have, the size of the pet, or the pets allowed. Don't settle for a verbal OK from the landlord. Get it in writing.

Create a Pet Resume

This can help convince your landlord that you're responsible with your pet. Include obedience and socialization classes, and references from vets, dog trainers, pet sitters, neighbors and previous landlords. Include a copy of vaccination records. Detail how you care for your pet, including how often it is walked, how much time you spend with it and what else you do with your pet.

Home Visits

Ask your prospective landlord over to your current home to visit you and your pet and see how well you keep your current rental unit.

Help Your Pet Adjust

Take a few days off when moving into your new home so your pet can adjust. They may be uncomfortable in a new environment and be anxious and make noise. That's one of the last things you want - to disturb the neighbors and have them complain to the landlord.

One way to help keep your pet relaxed is to give him a comfortable crate that can be his own doggie apartment. Make sure he has water, bedding and toys. Another option is to take him to doggie daycare while you're away.

Get Permission For All Types of Pets.

Sometimes tenants assume that indoor cats or caged pets are OK because no one will see them. Bringing in a pet without the landlord's written permission is a bad idea and can lead to problems when you or the uninvited pet are evicted.

Temporary Housing

If your lease is running out and you can't find pet-friendly housing immediately, have a backup plan for temporary housing for your pet. Ask a friend or family member if they can care for it while you're looking for rental housing, or find a kennel or someplace else for it to stay. If you can't stand the separation, stay at a pet-friendly hotel or bed and breakfast until you find housing that allows pets.

Aaron Crowe has lived in at least five rental properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at

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