Residential Leases Part 6: Renting with Pets
At ALE Solutions, we know pets are part of your family. It’s hard to imagine living in a property without your furry (or scaly, or feathery) companion. Before renting a property, think about what your pet will need and if there are any challenges that renting with your pet will present.
Assess Your Situation
Before renting, think about what your pet will need. Does your pet need outdoor space? Does your pet require a certain type of interior? If your pet requires an aquarium or cage, will you be able to move it into the rental? Before accepting any rental, you will want to ensure that it will be a suitable home for your pet by conducting a walkthrough and keeping in mind your pet’s needs.
It is also important to think about your pet objectively and decide if it could be a nuisance in certain situations. Does your pet chew or scratch things that might cause damage to the apartment? If your pet is potentially dangerous, will you be able to keep others around you safe? If your pet is loud, you might consider a rental that does not have close neighbors you might disturb.
Get Your Landlord on Board
It is important to ensure your landlord is aware of your pet situation and approves before you move into a rental. Do not try to sneak a pet into a rental under any circumstances. Doing so can create legal problems for you if the pet is discovered or does damage. Beyond that, it can create unneeded stress if you are trying to hide your pet and may cause friction between you and your landlord or your neighbors.
While it is true that some rentals will not welcome your pet, there are likely many others that will. Try to focus on “pet-friendly” rentals. However, if during your search, there is a great property advertising that it does not allow your pet, it may be worthwhile to open a dialog with the landlord to find out if the landlord will grant an exception. Sometimes if you can prove you are a responsible pet owner, the landlord may be willing to accommodate your pet.
Before signing a lease, confirm that the lease gives you full permission to have your pets on the premises. Read the lease thoroughly before signing and if it says no pets or does not mention pets, make sure you get your landlord to put in writing that your pets are okay. Check to see if there are any provisions that are not compatible with your pet. Discuss any potential issues with your landlord to see if those provisions can be amended. If you decide you would like to adopt or purchase a new pet while renting, clear it with your landlord first, and add the pet to the lease if necessary.
Take into consideration any additional fees associated with your pets. Sometimes your landlord will charge a pet deposit or a recurring monthly pet fee. If your pet requires registration, licensing, or insurance, make sure you have all your paperwork up to date. Remember that you may be held responsible for any damage, injuries, or disturbances caused by your pets. Be a responsible pet owner and pay special attention to the peace and privacy of your neighbors.
At ALE Solutions, we are happy to accommodate special family members! We seek out pet-friendly housing options for displaced policyholders. For more information, please visit alesolutions.com
Stay tuned for Residential Lease Part 7: Caring for Rental Property!