House Hunting with a Pet

Moving into an apartment

It’s happened to the best of us: Your lease is about to end and you’re not sure if you and your dog have somewhere to live next month.

Unfortunately, this happens all the time. Almost 2/3 of pet-owners say that they’ve had some difficulty finding housing that allows pets. What’s worse is that the majority of apartments that are “pet-friendly” charge deposits for having a dog or cat. These are typically somewhere around half a month’s rent. So what can you do?

Thankfully, in today’s world of internet searches, you can find pet friendly apartments in a heartbeat. Sites like Zillow, Realtor, or even Craigslist allow you to choose only homes that allow dogs or cats. Approximately 80% of house-hunters search for their homes online and 70% of the renters own pets. Of course, if you’re trying to move a llama into a luxury apartment, you may still be out of luck.

While the number of apartments which allow pets may not be as high as you hoped, keep in mind that everything is negotiable. This is especially true when not dealing with realtors and going instead to owner-leased apartments. Sometimes these people are more willing to make exceptions – it could be that they want to meet the animal first or maybe they want to have a reference from a previous landlord. In any case, it’s worth asking before signing a lease.

Furthermore, don’t let having a pet limit your search. You’re going to sign a lease eventually, so you’d best look for your dream apartment (or townhome, or house) and work your way backward toward something that fits your budget and needs. If you want high end finishes, look for high end finishes. If you want a place with luxury amenities, look for a place with luxury amenities. When you come to the end of the process, ask about having a pet and see how it goes.

So when your lease is coming to its end and you (and your dog) need a new apartment, use all the resources at your disposal. and Zillow are great, but feel free to get a human realtor as well. They might be able to introduce you to people who don’t know how to put their apartments online and it will help you see what else is out there.

Lastly, if you’re looking to rent out your home, just go ahead and let them have pets – everybody loves pets!

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