Pets – they’re kinda like kids. Cute, furry, little kids that don’t talk back. That’s what makes them so great, right? Besties for life! While it may be difficult to find an apartment that will allow you and your little buddy to live harmoniously together, it’s not impossible. But do you know there is a difference between ‘pet-friendly’ and ‘pets allowed’ in apartment communities?
Breaking it Down
“Pets allowed” means landlords will allow your pet to reside in your apartment. It typically means that they won’t have any amenities specifically for your pet, like a dog run or treats in the office. This is kind of like staying at a three star hotel that has an indoor pool. No frills and thrills, but they have a pool.
“Pet-friendly” means landlords view your pet to be one of the family, and the amenities offered go well beyond just offering a fitness center or community room for the residents. You can expect to see pet-washing stations, fenced-in dog runs with bags for your dog’s poo, or dog treats in the rental office. Sometimes, even a pet-sitting option is available. In pet-friendly apartments, they typically spare no expense in ensuring you and your pet feel right at home. Now, this is like you’re staying at a five star hotel that has an indoor water park complete with waterslides, a wave pool, and raft rides. It’s just way more fun!
Now that you know the difference between two seemingly similar words, let’s proceed on the best way to look for the flawless fit for you and your furry bestie.
Be upfront about owning a pet. When you are hunting for your next apartment, inquire if pets can reside there, because there is no sense in wasting your time or the leasing agent’s time if the rental community does not allow pets.
If the rental community does welcome pets, ask what requirements they have in regards to the age your pet has to be, as some companies will require your pet to be at least twelve months of age.
If you have more than one pet, ask the leasing expert if they have a maximum limit as to how many pets can reside in the apartment. For example, some companies allow only two pets per apartment with a breakdown such as having two cats, or one cat and one dog, or just one dog.
If you have a cat, ask if they need to be declawed because the rules vary with each management company.
Be prepared to show documentation showing they are up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, or declawed (if applicable), and generally, all of this information will have to be supported in writing by a veterinarian.
If you have a dog, be aware that most landlords have breed and weight restrictions, so you will want to find out what their guidelines are.
Inquire about any additional deposits, one-time processing fees, and monthly fees. If they require a pet deposit, ask if it’s refundable – that would be a huge bummer to plop down $500 for your dog only to find out that not one penny is refundable!