Everyone is a pet lover until the time comes to welcome one in their home permanently. Many landlords have particular concerns about renting their place to a pet owner. And with a good reason. It’s not about not loving the animals (even though there are some negative exceptions). Unfortunately, many pet owners do not care properly for their beloved companions. That makes getting a lease harder for all pet owners because landlords are cautious and concerned about the damage an irresponsible pet owner could bring to their property. So, if you decide to move with your furry friend, here’s everything you need to know about renting with a pet.
Law and order
The first thing you should get to know when moving to the Big Apple with your pet is – law and building regulations. It might come as a shock to you to find out that over 75% of the buildings in NYC don’t allow pets! So, the first thing you want to ask before even stepping a toe on a property is – does that building allows pets. And if so, what kinds? Owning a dog is quite common in this area. However, there are distinctions that a lot of building communities make.
The rules don’t apply equally to all species
While owning a turtle or a fish does not provoke concern in homeowners, many other species do. There are even differences inside one species in terms of the breed. For example, pit bulls and rottweilers (considered the ‘aggressive’ breeds) are a big no-no in many buildings. On the other hand, not many people complain about Frenchies or golden retrievers, or smaller dogs. Of course, the exception to the rule is chihuahuas, which bark a lot, and that puts them on the personas non-gratas list of most of the buildings. We won’t even begin with the stigma that follows snakes and some more exotic pets! The moral of the story is – be sure to read every little letter in the pet-owning regulations before renting.
Be prepared to pay more when renting with a pet
The dream tenants of all the landlords are single adults with responsible jobs that will keep them out of the property for many hours. Pet owners are on the absolute bottom of the ‘favorite’ lists. People who have invested in property are often concerned about every possible damage your dog, cat, or other kinds of pets could make to their investment. You should not be surprised when a landlord asks for a much higher rent as insurance if significant damage occurs. Also, be prepared to provide rock-solid income verification to free them from any doubt about you as a tenant.
Proven good behavior is crucial
Everyone will doubt that you are a responsible pet owner until proven otherwise. Be ready for it. The best way to help a landlord pick your side is to demonstrate your pet’s good and appropriate behavior. If you’ve become a dog owner recently, be prepared to provide your puppy a good training. Fortunately for you, the Big Apple has a lot of great trainers. You can do as little as going to Central Park for a walk and find excellent professionals.
A recommendation letter can help
A few minutes with your dog or a picture of your pet ‘giving a paw’ might not be enough to convince some landlords. That’s why it’s a good idea to collect as many recommendation letters from your former neighbors and landlord that will vouch for you as a responsible pet-owning tenant. Also, some landlords ask for guarantors for pet-owning tenants, so you should be prepared for that.
Help your pet adapt
It’s not easy being a dog in NYC, and you should keep that in mind. All the crowd and noises could be harmful and stressful to any animal. That’s why you need to put in extra effort to help them adapt. But, once your furry friend fully adapts, it will be a breeze to convince any landlord of their excellent behavior. Remember – all the chewing and unwanted habits come from stress. If you help your pet overcome it, you’ll have a happy and relaxed companion that will be a welcomed guest on any property.
Also, the process of moving can be stressful for these sensitive creatures. Professional movers often advise pet owners to take extra steps when moving with a pet and prepare them for the change. Many species get quite attached, and a change of residence could even cause depression if you don’t take extra precautions!
Choose the apartment wisely
Convincing a landlord that you’re their dream tenant is the hardest thing about renting with a pet. But, the crucial thing you should not forget is to choose the actual apartment wisely. Yes, some luxurious interior options are tempting. However, you need to keep in mind that you’re not alone and that even the most gorgeous interior design could become a nightmare for you if it’s not pet-friendly. What does that mean? An apartment is not pet-friendly if it has:
- easily destructible expensive furniture
- plants that are potentially poisonous to your pet
- places where your pet can hurt itself
This does narrow your options a lot. But, there are a lot of good ideas you can apply to make a pet and renter-friendly makeover to the apartment and make it more appealing.
Having a pet is like having a child – sometimes even more demanding. Renting with a pet is incredibly challenging. There are many things to consider and a lot of things to worry about. From difficulties getting a lease to choosing the right environment and apartment – everything’s a lot harder. You need to adjust and put your own needs second sometimes. But, your pet is one of your best friends. Always having someone to come home to is undoubtedly worth the extra trouble.