Let’s face it, locating a new apartment can be enough of a hassle when you only have yourself to think of. For millions of Americans, the task is complicated further by the fact that they own a pet. According to a recent study by a leading apartment industry website, 75 percent of apartment renters are also pet owners. For them, the trick is locating an apartment home that meets their needs, and the needs of their fury friends. It can also mean an added budget consideration to cover pay the added expense of a pet deposit, depending on the type and size of your pet.
Here are a few apartment locating tips to make the process of finding a suitable pet-friendly apartment a little less complicated.
Honesty is the Best Policy
When gathering information about an apartment you’re interested in, start the conversation by telling the property owner or manager that you’re a pet owner, and be very specific when discussing your pet or pets.
Almost all apartment communities have very specific rules regarding the type, size and number of pets renters are allowed to have. Some communities have a no-pets policy, some allow cats but not dogs, and some allow dogs under a certain size and weight. Getting everything out on the table at the start can save you a lot of time and frustration, and nothing is worse than getting your heart set on a gorgeous new apartment home, only to find out that your pet doesn’t meet the lease criteria.
Never try to get around a no-pet rule by sneaking your pet in without the owner’s or manager’s knowledge. When your pet is discovered (and it will happen) you can be evicted or even sued.
Give Yourself Additional Time to Search
Locating a pet-friendly apartment property that also meets all of your other wants and needs can take time. If you’re moving from one apartment home to a new one, it’s a good idea to begin your search at least six weeks before your current lease expires.
Enlisting the help of a professional apartment locating service can speed the process up significantly. Apartment locators specialize in helping renters find properties that meet a wide range of wants and needs, and can typically provide you with detailed information, including maps, photos and floorplans of multiple pet-friendly properties in your area. Best of all, their services are typically paid for by property owners, so there’s no cost to you.
Be Open to Compromise
It’s been said that compromise is the key to any successful relationship, and that applies to our relationships with our pets.
In some cases, pet owners are forced to make choices between their wants, and what’s going to be best for their pets. A second floor apartment with spectacular views of the downtown skyline may be appealing to you, but climbing stairs can be difficult for puppies and older dogs. And if your pet has unresolved house-training issues, laminate hardwood is a better flooring choice than the wall-to-all Berber carpeting you had your heart set on.
Keeping these points in mind as you begin the search for your next apartment home can make the process go much more smoothly.
Renee Jacobson is the President of Apartment Locating Specialists, a free apartment finder service with over 25 year’s experience in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.