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A Guide to Finding the Perfect Home for You and Your Pet

Updated on June 18, 2020

It can be tricky to find a rental home for you and your pet. This is especially true if you live in a metropolitan area. Most types of accommodation here are apartments and most landlords are wary of allowing pets. Some may even kick up a fuss about cats and other small animals.

Now, while you may have your work cut out for you, it doesn’t mean that this is an impossible task. In fact, all you really have to do is follow the helpful guidelines below. You will find that this process is a great deal easier than you might have imagined!

Look for the Right Landlords

There is no denying that a majority of landlords still aren’t too happy about allowing pets on their property. However, the good news is that they soon may be in the minority. Keep in mind, an increasing number of Millennials have pets.

In fact, many of these furry friends have been adopted in lieu of children. As such, this generation is incredibly close and loyal to their pets, even referring to them as “fur babies”.

Due to this, landlords are aware that they have to get with the program if they want to appeal to this demographic. Thus, properties that target Millennials, in particular, may have more lax pet rules.

This is why you should look for neighborhoods that are dominated by younger individuals. You may find that your pleas to allow your pet is welcomed more readily.

Go Well Armed with Documentation

As you are probably aware, the Fair Housing Act does say that emotional support animals qualify as reasonable accommodations under the FHA. This could mean waiving a no-pet rule or a pet deposit. At the same time, ESAs aren’t afforded the same privileges as service animals.

Thus, you need to have all the necessary documentation when you visit a potential landlord. First off, you may need to provide letters or certificates that prove your argument. This is a right that your landlord or rental company has. This allows them to review and prove that you do, in fact, require an ESA.

So, what does this entail? Well, if you are serious about being provided with accommodation, it is best to go with any and all documents that you might need.

For instance, this can include a letter from your mental health practitioner acknowledging your diagnosis. Then, you may have to prove that your cat, dog, or pet is certified by a certain agency.

Although this isn’t legally required, it does make your case a lot more legitimate. After all, if you were making a fraudulent claim, it is unlikely that you would be armed with quite so much evidence!

At the same time, make sure that your certifications are completely legitimate. Keep in mind, the reason that there is so much backlash is because people have exploited ESA loopholes. You need to make certain that you are distancing yourself from such instances.

Offer Proof of Your Pet’s Good Behavior

Has your dog or cat ever attended behavioral school? Or perhaps they have undergone a certain kind of training? In this case, you and your pet probably walked away with a diploma of some kind. It is a good idea to take this along with you when meeting your potential landlord. It will prove that your kitty or pup is well-behaved enough to live in their residence.

You may also want to construct a pet resume. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. First, include basic information such as breed, size, and more. You should also provide evidence for recent vaccinations and prove that your pet has a clean bill of health.

As an added bonus, have your current landlord write out a referral. This too can help to bolster your argument quite a bit.

Ask for a Meet and Greet

Some landlords may have the right to be concerned. They may have had bad experiences with renter’s pets in the past. To show them that your pet is different, arrange a meet and greet. This way, they can see for themselves just how lovely your cat or dog is.

If they balk at this idea, show them videos of your pet instead. Make sure that these are cute ones that will entice your potential landlord to meet with them.

Offer to Pay Pet Rent

If you are rather desperate to live in a particular place, you may want to consider offering to pay pet rent. Here, you tag on a small amount to your own rent each month. Of course, you need to be certain that the landlord isn’t trying to extort you in any way.

On average, you may be expected to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 for a dog, depending on size and breed. The rent for a kitty is often much cheaper and can be as little as $10. Still, the exact cost can vary from one landlord to the next. You may also be charged for every pet that you have.

Now, it is a good idea to check on the laws relating to pet rent as your state will often place limits on how much a landlord can charge. Doing your research ahead of time will prevent you from getting fleeced.

As you can see, finding the perfect place for you and your pet to live isn’t impossible. It simply requires access to the right kind of information and some dedication on your part. Nevertheless, you should always start your search for a new home as early as possible.

This is especially important since some landlords will make you jump through more hoops than others. Not to mention, the more time you have, the better your chances of finding ideal lodging. Furthermore, the process will be less stressful for you as well.

So, if you are in the market for a new home, follow the above guidelines. You should then be able to narrow down your housing options easily.


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