Many places will flat out refuse pets, and some may charge exorbitant fees for having a pet. Even places that allow pets may have a laundry list of stipulations. Here are some tips for finding pet-friendly apartments.
1. Present Your Pet in the Best Light Possible
Before a move, you should get together as much information about your pet as you can. For example, make sure you have any records that show proof of health, vaccinations, certificates, spaying or neutering, and any other documents that prove you have a healthy pet and that you are a responsible pet owner.
When asking your current or previous landlords for references, ask them to mention your pet as well. Another landlord who rented to you despite your pets and has nothing but good things to say about your stay will look good to future landlords who may find themselves on the fence about letting you stay with your pet.
2. Ask for an Exception for Your Pet
Many places may say no pets but a property owner may make an exception for you. It doesn't hurt to ask. Some apartments have property managers who make blanket rules for all properties in their care. However, some private landlords make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Asking for an exception and showing any documentation that proves you have a well-behaved pet can help when you're dealing with an individual rather than a company. You can also offer something extra like a deposit or a small fee tacked on to the rent.
3. Save Money with Your Pet in Mind
Some apartments do allow pets but will charge you more money for the privilege. The fees can vary widely and sometimes they're so high it may not seem worth it. Nevertheless, this isn't always the case and you may come across an apartment with reasonable fees for a pet.
No matter what, pet owners should consider setting aside funds for this purpose before they move. This fund can give you some room to negotiate if you're asking for an exception. Otherwise, you can think of the fund as your pet's room and board money.
4. Make Alternative Plans for Your Pet
You can end up in a situation where you simply cannot bring your pet with you. Try to have a place where your pet can go until you can reclaim it.
You don't want the stress of having to figure out what to do with your pet if you can't find a pet-friendly apartment in time. Start your apartment search by looking for pet-friendly apartments specifically to avoid some of the pitfalls. Look for apartments for rent in the area you want to live in.