If there's one major conflict between renters and landlords, it's pet rules. No renter on the planet wants to give up their beloved pet in favor of a new residence and, understandably, landlords are cautious about allowing unknown pets to stay in their investment properties. While it's true that some pets are dangerous to a property in the form of scratching, chewing, and messes, most people can train their pets to avoid these behaviors. If you are a loving pet owner struggling to find a nice place to live with your furry family member, here are a few tips for making sure a new landlord is happy with your pet in their property.
1) Let Them Know Ahead of Time
To avoid starting on your landlord's bad side, make sure you don't appear to be 'sneaking' a pet into the property. When you've decided a property is right for you, open the conversation with your new landlord or property manager. Let them know who your pet is along with their age, breed, size, and history of good behavior. If possible, introduce them ahead of time. This starts your relationship on the right foot and will assure your landlord that you intend to be a responsible pet owning tenant.
2) Pay a Pet Deposit
If your landlord is still worried about your pet, offer to make an addendum to the lease before signing it by adding a pet clause. This shows that you're willing to take legal responsibility for your pet and you can back it up with a voluntary pet cleaning deposit. While most pet deposits are non-refundable, if you introduce the idea and are happy to pay, you have a better chance of seeing it returned when you succeed at protecting the property. If your landlord agrees, this will help them feel a lot better about letting your beloved pet stay in the home because their investment is covered.
3) Spay or Neuter
Most responsible pet owners have already ensured that their furry friends won't be going through the often damaging 'heat' or territory marking behaviors. However, if your pet is young or newly acquired, it's best to get them 'fixed' as early as possible to reduce the risk they pose to the property. If your pet is not spayed or neutered when you sign the lease, assure your landlord that you will take care of it soon, and do so.
4) Protect the Property
Good training is the number one way to make a pet property-friendly. It's important that your pet understands the difference between inside activity and outside activity. Chewing sticks in the backyard is fine, but chewing walls and furniture is not. The same goes for making messes and running around energetically. Make sure your pet gets all the outdoor exercise they need and take an active role in protecting the property from your animal companion.
5) Carpet and Air Vent Cleaning
Even if your pet is perfectly well behaved while you rent the property, homes with pets tend to have a particular smell created by the dander and allergens they carry with them. While this may smell homey to you, the next tenant may not feel the same way or could even be allergic. As your final cooperative action with your property manager or landlord, make sure to clean the carpets and air vents of the home before departing. If your pet deposit is refundable, this is a sure-fire way to get it back.
While your landlord has every reason to be nervous about pets living in their property, you can ease their worries and open with a positive tenant-landlord relationship by following these simple steps. As a shining example of a responsible pet owner, you can make it easier for pet owners everywhere to find rental properties and be trusted to take care of them.