Tips for Pet Owners Seeking an Apartment
Seek Animal-Friendly Locations
Some buildings and landlords are more flexible about pet ownership than others. Your best bet is to search for those that are advertised as such. Ask your social network of friends, family and acquaintances for recommendations. Also, consider proximity to parks or other pleasant locations to walk your dog.
Clear Pet Ownership with Your Landlord
Don't suddenly decide to adopt a pet if you haven't cleared it with your landlord. Some areas will allow landlords to retroactively charge additional pet fees upon discovering a smuggled pet. More importantly, you risk maintaining a good relationship with the person in charge of your rent cost and repair schedule. Don't piss them off.
Expect Additional Fees
For an animal lover, no fee is too big to keep your furry or feathered friend by your side. Expect to pay a pet deposit to ensure you keep your animal from damaging the building or disturbing others. You may also incur additional cleaning fees. Frequently, landlords take more from your deposit upon moving out under the guise of "pet damage" - whether or not your pet actually made any discernible mess.
Reject Cruel Restrictions
Some landlords place cruel restrictions on pet ownership in their building. For example, they may require your dog be chained in the back or kept in a small room all day. Laws concerning animal welfare vary from state to state, as do attitudes about what constitutes cruel treatment. Do not choose a location that makes your pet suffer. If you see animal abuses, report them to your local ASPCA or other authorities.
Katie McCaskey lives with her husband and spoiled cat, Chi-Wee.