Dog and cat under blanket

Your search for the perfect rental may take a little longer if you need to find something pet-friendly, but it’s worth the extra effort. 

You may be familiar with the phrase, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” When it comes to renting an apartment or home and having pets, we find the reverse to be true. Rhino Properties always recommends you ask your landlord about their property and pets, and here’s why:

  • You could be fined – If you’re lucky, the most your landlord will do upon discovering a pet in your home is fine you. Landlord rights allow for clauses that protect a landlord, permitting them to fine you per pet if you violate the rental agreement. A one-time fine might be assessed, or you could be fined for every day you have your pet in your rental. Read through your lease agreement for specifics regarding the repercussions of smuggling in a furry friend.
  • You might have to rehome your pet – Can you imagine having to rehome your pet because you hoped you could have them in your rental without being discovered? It’s not only difficult for you but for your four-legged loved one as well. It’s not uncommon in property management to see tenants left with no other choice but to give their pet away.
  • You could be evicted – Landlord rights may dictate that you can be evicted for violating a “no pets” clause in your lease. In addition to having to move, you may also have to pay the remainder of your lease, pay fees for the eviction process, and have an eviction on your rental history. All of this can make it difficult to find your next rental home.

How to Find a Rental That Allows Pets

While it may be tempting to welcome a pet into your rental home without officially notifying your landlord, it’s not recommended. If you’ve been in your rental for a while, and have a good history with your landlord, you could simply ask about adding a pet to your lease. You may be required to put down an additional pet deposit or to pay slightly more per month for having a pet, but it’s worth going through the proper channels. When you search for your next home, be sure to set the appropriate filters to see results that allow for pets. Additionally, look over rental agreements carefully to be sure of the pet policy specifics.

  • Pet Deposit – This is usually a refundable payment made when you sign your lease. If the home is in good condition when your lease is up, you are entitled to at least a portion of this deposit back.
  • Pet Fee – This is usually a non-refundable payment made when you sign your lease. Whether or not the home is left in good shape, a landlord plans to keep this fee in exchange for allowing your pet in the home.
  • Pet Rent – Whether it’s allowed upfront, or you ask to add a pet to your existing lease, you may pay additional rent to accommodate having a pet in your rental.

Don’t hesitate to open a conversation with your landlord about these clauses.

Most Commons Pets Allowed in Rentals

Depending on the type of pet you have in your family, it may not be difficult to find a rental that permits it. The most commons pets allowed in rentals are typically the following:

  • Pets in aquariums or terrariums: These types of pets usually include fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Pets in small cages: Little pets such as gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and birds may be more welcome in your rental property than dogs or cats.

Why Dogs and Cats Aren’t Allowed in Rentals

Have you ever lived somewhere and had a neighbor who rips up carpet, cries all day, and digs up the yard? If so, you might live next door to an anxious dog or cat. These reasons, and more, are why many landlords are hesitant to permit dogs or cats in their rentals. It isn’t always a matter of preserving a home’s cleanliness; sometimes it’s considering the effects of a lonely pet left home alone all day while the humans are working.

Thankfully, these days it is more common to work from home, ensuring Fido and Fluffy have a companion throughout the day. In this case, it can be a lot easier to add a pet to your lease or find a new place that welcomes pets.

Did you know it’s about 50/50 when it comes to property management companies offering rentals that allow pets? While we do want to protect our landlords from unnecessary damage to their rental properties, we also know that many of us don’t think a house can be a home without a pet.