Your Guide to Renting with Pets - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 30, 2023

Your Guide to Renting with Pets

Maybe you’ve always been a pet-owner and can’t imagine your life without your furry companion at your side. Or perhaps you’re interested in becoming a pet-owner for the first time; you’ve got your heart set on adopting a dog or bringing home your first goldfish (baby steps, right?). Whatever the case may be, if you’re a renter or future-renter, then you’re probably learning that not all landlords love animals as much as you do.

Finding a pet-friendly rental can be challenging, but the good news is it’s possible! Use the tips below to find the perfect home for your companions.

Tips for finding a pet-friendly apartment:

Choose your pet wisely. If you’re a renter or a soon-to-be renter who is interested in getting a pet, the first step is deciding what kind of pet realistically fits your lifestyle. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of having a Great Dane but also realize that perhaps your budget doesn’t allow for a rental space that would provide the room and yard that a Great Dane would require.

As a future pet owner, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re realistically up for. Pets are a lot of work! And some definitely require more care and attention than others. For example, if you work 10-hour shifts, then it might be difficult to have a dog. Instead, you may want to consider a smaller animal such as a fish, lizard or hamster. These smaller animals don’t need to be taken outside frequently and require less affection than traditional pets such as cats and dogs. Cats work well for pet owners with busy lifestyles as they tend to be solitary creatures and don’t mind being left alone for prolonged periods of time, so long as they have food, water and other necessities.

Give yourself time. It can be difficult to find a landlord and rental property that are OK with pets. Giving yourself plenty of time for the search can alleviate some stress. Once you start your search, be diligent. Do your research and check out your top prospects in-person.

Look outside your current community. Not finding exactly what you need in your current neighborhood? Then perhaps it’s time to expand your search perimeter. Set a perimeter around the places you commute to most often, and work from there.

Set your pet up for success. Make a resume for your pet! Sound silly? Maybe. But your future landlord will appreciate the effort you put in to showing how your pet may just be the best-behaved pet there ever was. On your pet’s resume, include their adoption story, their best qualities and any training courses they may have completed.

Prepare your pet. Remember all of those great things you’re going to say about your pet on their resume? Make sure they’re all true! This is especially important if you’re a dog owner. Train your dog not to bark or chew on things they shouldn’t, like furniture and blankets. Need help in the training department? There are plenty of training resources available online.

Provide references for your pet. Just like people, your landlord will be more accepting of your pet if you can provide references. If you’re currently renting and have a good relationship with your landlord, consider asking them to write a letter of recommendation for your pet.


Best Practices, once you’ve found your new home:

You found a place that allows pets! Cue enormous sigh of relief. But the work doesn’t completely stop there. It’s important to start developing a good relationship with your landlord, who may or may not still be wary about your pet. Follow the tips below to ensure that your dreams of renting with a pet stay on track:

Stay true to your promises. If you’ve promised that your dog is the best-behaved dog on planet earth, then now isn’t the time to let Fido start barking at the cat across the street. Just like how new environments and life changes can be stressful to people, they can also be stressful to animals. Help your pet through the moving transition by paying close attention to stress behaviors. Identifying what is causing your pet stress will help you alleviate their stressors and, as a result, mitigate potentially poor behavior. It’s also important to continue to enforce good behavior with affection and treats.

Keep your place clean. Just like any good tenant, be mindful of keeping your space clean. This is especially important as a pet owner as you want to make a good impression with your landlord, should they ever need to pop in to do some maintenance. Keeping a tidy space also means less temptation for your cat or dog to go rummaging through things they shouldn’t, such as food, cleaning supplies and medicines while you’re away!

The cleanliness should continue outside. Be respectful of your landlord’s outdoor space. If there is a specific area where your pet should relieve themselves, be sure to always take your pet to that location. If not, make sure you always clean up after them. The last thing you want is your landlord to ruin a shoe over your beloved pet and have the both of you looking for a new place to live.

Consider renters insurance. Renters insurance is affordable and can protect you and your belongings from theft and disaster. Consider pursuing renters insurance to add an extra level of protection to your home for you and your pet.