You’ve found the perfect apartment, but just as your pen touches the lease, you remember to ask: “Pets are allowed here, right?” Who would mind Princess Fluffkin, the cat you’ve had since 8 th grade? Many apartments aren’t pet friendly, and if there’s a special furry creature – besides your excessively hairy boyfriend – in your life, it might be wise to ask this question up front before falling in love with the resort style pool. Pets can be extremely destructive, and even though Princess Fluffkin may have the manners of a noble, pet fees will most likely force you to switch to store bought cat food – don’t worry, she’ll understand. Here are some good tips for pet owners when searching for a new apartment.
1. Costs Associated with Pet Friendly Apartments
Pet deposits average around $350, sometimes non-refundable, which can be a real drag especially if your pet hasn’t caused any damage. But, thanks to those disobedient mongrels out there, apartment complexes are forced to charge an exorbitant amount of money for pet friendly apartments. You can also expect monthly rent to increase close to $25 for certain complexes. All this money can really add up. So why not just sneak little Princess Fluffkin in? No one will know; she is so well behaved! Well, we certainly hope not, since consequences of such an offense can result in eviction and or fines. Does Princess Fluffkin have a good lawyer? Just make sure that everything’s covered before you sign a lease. It can be helpful to get everything in writing so there is no room for hesitation or backtracking on the part of the management once you and kitty have moved in.
2. Websites Devoted to Pet Friendly Apartment Searching
There are many internet resources out there for you pet lovers. Apart from actual apartment searching, many will give you helpful tips on how to go about being a pet owner in an apartment complex. Most apartment complexes don’t keep their pet policy a secret, so it’s easy to search out when apartment shopping. Most apartment search engines allow you to select ‘pet-friendly’ as a requirement when searching for an apartment. This will do all the work for you by making sure you are only looking at apartments that will work for you and your pet. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to sift out the apartments with insanely high pet deposits.
3. Proving Your Pet is Worthy
Many apartment complexes say they don’t allow pets, but are willing to bend the rules to get your business. If you have a well behaved cat like Princess Fluffkin, why not let them know? If you can prove that your pet has excellent manners, is small, and well taken care of, the apartment complex is more likely to allow your pet to call it home. Some pet-friendly apartments even require that you bring in your pet to verify its actual weight – since most have a weight limit on pet residents – and ask to see veterinary records to make sure your pet is healthy and up to date on all his its shots. Your pet may even have its picture taken for management records. And, if you can prove that your pet has been trained and is well behaved – some suggest a pet resume – some apartment complexes will forgo their pet free policy and allow one cat to slip under the radar.
4. Keeping Your Apartment Clean
Pets have the potential of being even smellier than your old college roommate. So if you’re hoping to get your pet deposit back – assuming it’s refundable – make sure to clean up after your pet (and yourself). There are so many pet stain removers, odor removers, and such out there, that it can’t be too hard to rid your small apartment of funky pet smell. But if you let the problem attach itself to your living space, you and the future tenants will be haunted by Princess Fluffkin’s not so endearing odor.
5. Keep Your Pet Happy
When searching for a pet friendly apartment, keep in mind the needs of your pet. Does your prospective apartment have grassy areas throughout the complex? If not, where will you walk Fido? And if your pet is restricted to the indoors, look into the flooring situation. Wood or tile floors might be better than carpet – for any unforeseen accidents. And hey, they’re easier to clean up after a cocktail party too! If you have a pet that needs to be walked, and your apartment is surrounded by highways, you could have a problem. Check for nearby parks, apartment courtyards, or better yet… a woodsy environment. This will keep your pet happy while being forced to live in a small space. Fido will be able to release some tension running in the grass rather than chewing up your new pair of expensive shoes.